September 30, 2019. A new study by researchers at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam, Germany found that regions around Europe could satisfy all of the continent’s electricity needs by using only solar and wind power.
The IASS lead researcher stated that technology is now advanced enough to allow even the most populated metropolitan areas to be sustainable on renewable resources alone – while also significantly improving the economy.
“We hope that this IASS study will encourage European countries to access these renewable energy sources at a faster rate,” said Andrius Terskovas, head of business development at Sun Investment Group. “Solar power isn’t just beneficial because it is renewable; it’s also good for the economy. Solar power will help avoid unemployment in the future, as maintaining coal as an energy source will become more expensive. Our plants will sustain themselves, without government assistance.”
According to ODI, 10 European governments have to stabilize and support the coal industry in their country to enable it to continue functioning successfully. Since there is no remission of this situation in sight for the immediate future, switching to an alternative, such as solar energy, may be the only means to decrease state costs and thus to protect jobs in the energy sector as well as the civil administration.
Even Poland, one of Europe’s largest producers of energy from coal, has been eyeing renewable energy alternatives, and the country’s Entrepreneurship and Technology Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz has been putting emphasis on clean air programs and green energy.
Amongst the foremost investors in new solar power generation are Germany, Japan and Australia, which have increased their solar wattage by 6.5%, 12% and more than 33% respectively in the past year. All three countries continuously cover more than 6% of their national energy consumption through solar power every year, despite widely varying climates.
A look at the US market gives an indication of how numbers like this translate onto the employment market: Forbes reported that in the United States more than 335,000 people are currently employed in the solar energy industry, with that number predicted to grow by at least 9% per year, despite a total installed wattage of only 62,000 MW
In addition, people often see an 8-19 percent increase in income compared to their previous jobs in the energy industry when hired into a solar energy company. Plants also tend to hire people at different levels of education: on average, 45 percent of staff only have a secondary school diploma.
The employment potential of solar power may soon be sorely needed. Forbes is predicting that by 2025, coal-based plants will cost more to operate alone than constructing entirely new plants harnessing renewable energies. This is because fossil fuels are just that: finite.
By working together with partners like SIG, European economies could not only produce enough energy to power the entire continent, but also prepare for the inevitable challenges the energy industry will face in the future. Preventing unemployment related to shifts in the industry will in turn safeguard the ongoing development of Europe’s budding national economies.
ABOUT SUN INVESTMENT GROUP
Sun Investment Group (SIG) was founded in 2011 as an investment management and development company focused on solar energy assets within investment-grade markets. It has extensive experience in developing solar power projects across Poland and the Baltic region. Currently SIG has 109 PV projects in its portfolio under management and construction in Poland. For more information, visit https://suninvestmentgroup.com.