Jobs figures reveal contrasting fortunes of solar in Germany and the US

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

New figures highlight the contrasting fortunes of the solar energy sector in Germany and the US.

Germany's solar manufacturing sector is dwindling but employment in the American solar industry as a whole has grown by 20%, according to a job census carried out by the Solar Foundation.

Their results found that 142,698 people were employed in the sector in 2013, up 23,682, or 19.9%, on the previous year. The national average rate of employment growth was 1.9%.

“The solar industry’s job-creating power is clear,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of The Solar Foundation. “The industry has grown an astounding 53% in the last four years alone, adding nearly 50,000 jobs. Our census findings show that for the fourth year running, solar jobs remain well-paid and attract highly-skilled workers.”

Commenting on the new figures, US energy secretary Ernest Moniz said: “President Obama has set an ambitious goal to double electricity generation from renewable sources once again by 2020, and a vibrant US workforce is vital to achieving this. To support a growing workforce and a new generation of clean energy leaders, the Energy Department is providing training and education opportunities for engineers, utility workers and students, as well as supporting projects across the country, to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy innovation.”

Meanwhile, jobs in Germany’s solar manufacturing sector were reported to have halved in the previous two years, according to official government figures the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper claimed to have seen.

The paper said that employment had fallen from 10,200 at the start of 2012 to 4,800 in November 2013.

A number of German manufacturers and project developers have faced bankruptcy or major restructuring in recent years including SolarWorld, Conergy, Solarstrom, Gehrlicher, juwi, Solarwatt and CENTROSOLAR, while German multinationals Siemens and Bosch have withdrawn from the sector.

PV installations in Germany have declined drastically in 2013, compared to previous years, impacting installer firms as well. 

In 2012, the PV industry employed approximately 88,000 people throughout the supply chain in Germany, according to the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU).

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.
7 September 2021
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. In its second edition from September 7–9, 2021 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will move to a new venue – Centro Citibanamex.

Read Next

August 5, 2021
Unreliable methods of calculating irradiation in Africa could slash energy savings for commercial and industrial (C&I) solar buyers and reduce investment returns for developers and investors, new research has suggested.
PV Tech Premium
August 5, 2021
While solar deployment throughout Europe is expected to soar, can the same be said for manufacturing on the continent? As part of this week’s special feature on European solar, Liam Stoker assesses the potential for solar manufacturing to return to Europe.
August 5, 2021
McDonald’s and eBay have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Lightsource BP to acquire electricity from its 345MWdc Ventress solar project in Louisiana
August 4, 2021
Danish investment firm Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has signed an agreement with Amp Energy to enable the addition of 1.7GWp of renewables projects in India.
August 4, 2021
Walmart will buy renewable energy credits from 23 community solar projects across New York State through an agreement with developer Nexamp.
August 4, 2021
Israeli independent power producer Enlight Renewable Energy has secured a deal to acquire a portfolio of solar projects in Spain with a combined capacity of 490MWdc.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK