A new study published this month has shown that the solar PV, battery storage, and wind power sectors will serve as the major job creating technologies by 2050, with renewable energy accounting for 80% of total direct energy jobs by 2050.
The new study, published by researchers from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) – a renewable energy research giant, having created numerous 100% renewable energy models covering the entire globe – found that global direct jobs associated with the electricity sector will increase from around 21 million in 2015 to nearly 35 million in 2050.
Of greater interest, however, was the role that renewable energy technologies are expected to play. The study found that solar PV, battery storage, and wind power are the major job creating technologies during the forecast period, with renewable energy responsible for 80% of future job opportunities, up from 28% of energy jobs in 2015.
Conversely, the fossil fuel and nuclear industries are expected to see their share of energy jobs fall from a 70% share to only 3% over the same forecast period.
Unsurprisingly, the solar industry will account for the lion’s share of renewable energy jobs accounting for 22.2 million out of a total of 34 million direct energy jobs created by 2050. Well short of the solar industry’s creation power is the energy storage industry, creating 4.5 million jobs, followed by the bioenergy industry which will create 2.3 million jobs, the hydropower industry with 1.9 million jobs, and the wind energy industry will create 1.4 million jobs.
In the shorter term, the wind energy industry will likely create some 7.3 new jobs between 2020 and 2030 but will then stabilise and shed some of its job creation power over the long term.
“In the case of wind energy, around 7.3 million jobs are created in the period from 2020 to 2030,” the authors of the study write. “Beyond that, as solar PV becomes more cost effective, they drive [the] majority of the installations until 2050 and jobs in the wind sector are stabilized.”
The study claims to be the first global study assessing job creation projections for the energy storage industry. The storage industry will benefit from steady growth across the globe and see consistent job creation in all the major regions.
Overall, “The results indicate that job losses in fossil fuels and nuclear power sectors are more than outweighed by the job creation in renewable power generation and storage sectors,” the scientists said, predicting the renewable energy segment will create around 17% of all new energy jobs already by 2030, on its way to dominance by 2050.