07 JUN 2012

GERMANY’S CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL EXPECTS MANY NEW GREEN ENERGY JOBS She is banking on a major expansion in “renewable energy” (green energy) to make up for possible power shortfalls created by the planned phase-out from the Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).  Soon after the Fukushima tragic triple meltdown of 12 Mar 2011, Ms. Merkel surprised the nuclear Industry, and the world by announcing the intention to phase-out all of Germany’s NPPs.  Now, a GWS think tank * study presented on 06 Jun 2012, showed Germany’s expanding green energy industry plans to account for over half a million jobs by 2030: that, is up more than 33% from current levels, and driven by rapidly developing solar panel, and off-shore wind generation industries.

THE GWS THINK-TANK EXPECTS MANY NEW JOBS. Jobs linked to the green energy industry, are expected to rise as much as 600,000 by 2030. Currently around 382,000 jobs are linked to the industry – equivalent to about 1 % of the workforce in Europe’s largest economy. The study included employees involved in making and maintaining renewable energy equipment, as well as workers indirectly serving the sector such as scientists, suppliers and service industries.  Germany plans to derive 35 % of its power from renewable sources by 2020, and 80% by 2050.  They currently produce only about 20% green-energy; consequently, many critics say those targets look very optimistic.  Even so, German industry prides itself on adapting to new global trends, and has already shifted some of its traditional heavy engineering to green technology in the last decade.; Not surprisingly, this has helped to shield its economy, and job market from the worst of the European financial and debt crises.

THE SOLAR-CELL GENERATING SECTOR OF INDUSTRY was boosted in the last decade by generous incentives which turned Germany into the world’s largest market for solar panels, and currently accounts for about a third of jobs in the green energy sector: However, some experts are pessimistic about the solar-cell sector due to cuts in incentives, and increased competition from abroad.  Several firms in the sector have gone bankrupt in the last year: Even so, the GWS study said the industry should hold its own.

BIOENERGY ALSO LOOMS PROMINENTLY. In Germany, it currently accounts for about 33% of jobs in the green energy.

OFF-SHORE WIND DRIVEN GENERATION TO UNDERGO A RAPID EXPANSION: Although, it currently accounts for about 25% of green energy jobs.  It is earmarked for rapid expansion.   Plans call to build 10,000 MW of offshore wind parks by 2020, but are hampered by an inadequate power grid plus regulatory and financing questions.  GWS’ Ulrike Lehr**, co-author of the study, said: “Much depends on international conditions. The development of the wind sector, for example, will be affected a good deal by export/ demand but we expect the distribution between sectors to remain roughly the same,” While the southern state of Bavaria and western state of North Rhine-Westphalia contribute the largest number of workers in the green energy sector.  Less dynamic economies in former Communist eastern states are more reliant on the industry, and growth in several of those states has been boosted in the last few years by solar cell production, and now, some are now pinning their hopes on offshore wind.

*GWS Think Tank

**Ulrike Lehr – Bremen


IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO PREDICT THE FUTURE; Even so, goals should be set, and expectations given a proper perspective in planning for the future at a major transition time in the history of energy generation worldwide.  In all probability, Germany’s Infrastructure (GRID) developments, and green energy planning reflect the very problems most nations of the world will need to face as soon as possible.

“A SILVER LINING IN EVERY CLOUD” We had anticipated correctly that the changeover to green energy would create many new jobs, and usher new technology.  Attempting to quantify how many jobs is another problem; difficult at best.  Only time will tell.

“WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT” that Henry Ford’s tinkering with internal combustion engines would lead to the creation of “mass-production” of autos; Hence, the now dominant Auto-industry.  Also needed were a complete infrastructure of roads, repair centers (garages), fuel distribution and selling (service stations), and even the very powerful Petroleum refining products cartel.  It took about 100 years, but it transcendentally changed humanity forever.

WE SEEM TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH GERMAN PLANNING. If you read our last post you will know this.  Once again we offer kudos to Germany for showing the world both resolve and courage to face an ever uncertain and rapidly evolving world. Meanwhile in the USA, “something will have to give” to break our governmental grid-lock in the NRC. We Americans deserve better from our government,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

Thanks to Reuters for their article on this subject on 06 Jun 2012


June 7, 2012 at 11:01 AM Comment (1)