New study reveals critical skills bottleneck in installing Europe’s solar energy needs

21 September 2022

  • SolarPower Europe’s EU Solar Jobs Report 2022 reveals that the solar sector employed 466,000 people in the European Union in 2021, an annual increase of over 30%, up from 358,000 in 2020. 


  • For the EU to meet its energy security targets, in 2030 the continent must employ over 1 million solar workers, twice as much as in 2021.  In an increased ambition scenario, 1 million solar jobs will already be required by 2026. 


  • SolarPower Europe call on EU countries to step up efforts to assess their national skills needs, and ensure that training programmes are accessible to future solar workers. 



Access the full report here.

Download graphs  here. (For editorial use © SolarPower Europe, or via 'tagging' on social media)  


BRUSSELS, Belgium (Wednesday 21 September 2022): SolarPower Europe launches the second edition of its ‘EU Solar Jobs Report’, finding that over 100,000 jobs were created by solar from 2020 to 2021. Most jobs are found in installation, representing around 79% of total solar employment.

Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe: “At a time when the continent faces economic uncertainty, solar offers a reliable source of millions of future-proof, local, and green jobs. Even as Europe emerged from a pandemic, solar employment increased by 30%."

Around 44,000 solar jobs are in the high-value strategic sector of solar PV manufacturing – while 40,000 people are employed to run and maintain solar projects. Poland, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands host the most solar jobs across the EU.

The European Commission set a 750 GWDC solar target for 2030 in May 2022, under REPowerEU plans to disentangle the continent from Russian gas. Under this ‘Medium Scenario’, the EU will require over 1 million solar workers in 2030.

In a ‘High Scenario’, where European and national policymakers fully achieve their goal of resolving permitting and supply chain challenges, solar deployment would accelerate and already employ 1 million people in 2026.

Hemetsberger continues: "Solar skills will remain hugely employable, and a key opportunity for national governments and regional authorities across Europe in the years to come. Now we must rise to the challenge, and ensure we have the skills and workers to deliver Europe’s energy security and climate goals.”

To address the solar skills challenge, SolarPower Europe is launching the #SolarWorks online job fair and employment platform on 1 December 2022. The first online solar recruitment platform is a one-stop-shop for future solar workers and recruiters, matching applicants to relevant roles or training programmes. The virtual #SolarWorksFair will connect candidates to solar roles in real time.

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