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'Green Economy' could add 6.3 million jobs...but who to?

The amount of coverage renewable energy sources are getting in the mainstream press is staggering. And as awareness grows of alternative energy, and the infrastructure builds, so the trickle down effect is expected to feed into all areas of the industry. Last week, the United Nations Environment Programme released a study that stated the ‘Green Economy’ could create millions of new jobs worldwide, with the manufacture, installation of solar panels potentially adding 6.3 million jobs by 2030...

More Green Jobs

The report, 'Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World', highlights some of the hopes that surround the industry, notably the potential for job creation and a wave of financial investment. But who will be the people to benefit?

We’ve heard so much about the skills shortage in the electrical sector, so it’s slightly worrying that there could be a raft of opportunities coming our way with no one there to meet the demand. However, the report is good news for the companies and people currently working in electrical engineering as it backs up statements released recently by the likes of David Pollock from the ECA who believes that now is the time for businesses to diversify into other revenue streams.

If the projected figures turn out to be correct, there is a substantial pot to be shared. The global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from US$1,370 billion (1.37 trillion) per year at present to US$2,740 billion (2.74 trillion) by 2020. Now, I can’t even comprehend the idea of one trillion, so that’s an awful lot of money! The report goes on to say that a very large portion of this increase in the market will be in energy efficiency which obviously is directly linked to electrical products and services. In Europe alone, investments in improved energy efficiency in buildings could generate an additional 3.5 million ‘green jobs’.

While many of these jobs will be created by and for the big players in the industry, even they will not be able to be cater for that kind of demand on their own, leaving ample elbow room for the more dynamic and forward-thinking SMEs.

Surely these additional jobs can also act as a lure for new people looking to start a career. At a number of events discussing the skills shortage people bemoaned the lack of ‘sexiness’ in electrical engineering. Well, here it is! Tackle a global crisis, save the world, be at the forefront of exciting new technologies in an industry that is falling over itself to offer jobs to new people. Not many sectors can boast those credentials.

Whatever your views on environmental issues, the opportunities heading the way of our industry are too good to miss or be approached half-heartedly. This isn’t a fad and the electrical industry at all levels must be leading from the front when it comes to guiding the way to a more efficient future. So, even if the short term looks a little rocky at the moment, it’s good to know the long term is shaping up nicely.

Enjoy the newsletter,

Richard Scott
Editor


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