EU Solar Jobs Report 2021

EU Solar Jobs – potential to triple to 1.1 million in 2030

The multiple advantages of solar power are increasingly known by decision makers in politics and industry: Foremost, solar energy is often the lowest-cost power generation source in the EU, with the cost structure continuing to improve further for many years to come. Solar PV is also the most flexible and easy-to-deploy power technology – from very small household applications to gigantic utility-scale power plants. One less well-known solar benefit is ‘job friendliness.’ No other power technology is as job intense as solar, which creates 2 to 6 times more jobs than any of its peers during the construction phase.

In 2020, the EU solar sector installed over one third more power capacity than its closest follower, a lead it is unlikely to give away in the future. In fact, solar power will become our major energy provider in the long run, which makes it imperative to take a close look at the development of solar jobs in Europe at a time when policymakers are working on the details to enable the European Green Deal.


In 2020, the solar sector created around 357,000 direct and indirect jobs, compared to 81,000 in 2016, estimated in our previous job report.Based on the existing European Commission 40% renewables target by 2030, we can already expect solar jobs to double to 742,000 by the end of the decade. In the medium term the study predicts the creation of 584,000 EU solar jobs by 2025 – a 64% increase in five years. With the necessary level of ambition to meet climate targets – an EU 45% renewables target for 2030 – solar could create 1.1million jobs by 2030. 


Michael Schmela, Head of Market Intelligence said: “EU solar jobs will not only be the key to Paris climate goals, the overall ambition seeks to improve European energy security. Although Europe has an exceptionally strong solar R&D landscape and leading manufacturers, not every product needed for a solar power system can currently be made in Europe. The European Union needs to support investment in manufacturing jobs for solar technology, which already adds more power generation capacity than any other, and will shoulder the major responsibility of keeping European lights on in the long term.”

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