Job Creation

Globally, there are at present approximately 2.3 million people working either directly in renewables or indirectly in supplier indus¬tries. The renewable wind power sector employs approximately 300,000 people, the solar photovoltaics (PV) employs another 170,000, and the solar thermal industry, at least 624,000.  There are also more than 1 million people employed in the biomass and biofuels sector.
Germany leads the way with job creation in renewable industries, amounting to 367,000 jobs.  Since the enthusiastic uptake of FITs has seen a dramatic spike in investment in renewable energy technology, with Germany’s Deputy Environmental Minister Astrid Klug stating in 2009 that jobs in Germany’s renewable energy sector would likely more treble by 2020, and could be as high as 900,000, with that target likely to be met, with current estimates of the total number of jobs in the renewable sector at  367,400,  while also sighting climate protection as a ‘job motor’ for Germany’s economy. These current predictions would outstrip that of the car industry in Germany, and the renewable industry now employs more people than conventional energy industries.   
It is estimated that by 2021 in the UK, the wind and marine renewable industry could employ between 44,000 to 115,000, with 21,000 currently employed,  and that 68,000 job could be created in wave and tidal technologies, capturing 22% of the global market.   In Spain, renewable technology industry now employs about  89,000 people, predominately in wind  and solar, and another 99,000 indirectly.  
 
The potential for job creation is huge, and it is projected that, given the implementation of a  national Feed-in Tariff,  Australia could create 22,000 jobs could in the next ten years,  while the Green party suggests that New Zealand ultimate potential for job creation in renewables could be as high as 65,000 jobs.   As the recent Grantham Research Institute/LSE brief has expressed, “In general, early movers will reduce costs associated with low carbon technologies more quickly, and will become exporters of goods, ideas, knowledge and skills” .