Europe is currently experiencing a new chapter of industrial revolution, and at its core is electricity. Recent events, such as the conflict in Ukraine and the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, serve as compelling reminders of the imperative for the European Union (EU) to intensify its actions that aim to enhance decarbonisation.
The path forward, widely acknowledged, is electrification, which represents the cornerstone of a low-carbon energy system within the EU. This transformation relies on tried-and-true technologies that are already making inroads across various sectors including transportation, industry, and infrastructure. Electrification and the move to a net-zero economy will create jobs for people with all levels of education and training, and at different stages of their lives and careers.
According to 2021 survey conducted by McKinsey, we face an opportunity to alter a current job market, since employees increasingly expect their professional life to offer a significant sense of purpose. Therefore, contributing to the creation of a cleaner, net-zero emissions world can offer employees this much needed purpose.
EU Solar Jobs Report 2022 emphasises ‘that in 2021, the solar sector employed 466,000 full time employees (FTEs) in the EU, that’s 108,000 more than 2020.’
As Electrification Alliance reports in “Electrifying Europe: How Electrification is Switching on Jobs and Skills” that deploying rooftop solar PV, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points at scale to meet EU climate targets will create close to 400,000 jobs by 2030.
The transition will require technicians, engineers and managers. It will create long-term, fast-evolving, local jobs. Since electrical contractors are often self-employed, the transition will also generate a new class of entrepreneurs.
The sole shift to electric vehicles will create over 580,000 new jobs in the EU by 2030, with a further 40,000 jobs generated each year by the construction and civil works needed to adapt energy production and distribution infrastructures.
Electrification Alliance indicates four steps shall be taken to empower EU electrification and create jobs:
- Increasing an attractiveness of the electrification process
- Enabling interested people to acquire the necessary skills to work in the clean energy sector and ensure that they have access to appropriate information
- Ensuring stability and good working conditions
- Education, training and skills must fit the needs of the labour market
Source: Electrification Alliance; SolarPower Europe; McKinsey