Long-term thinking is required to meet the many challenges ahead as the world shifts from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
RES and EE are the two driving sectors of sustainable development of the energy sector. In the context of global energy transformation, societies seek to maximize the social and economic benefits of this process. So, along with the decarbonisation and implementation of climate goals, countries need to create new workplaces in these sectors and stimulate economic development.
Employment in the renewable energy sector is already on an upward trajectory. Data from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) showed that renewable energy employment worldwide reached 12 million in 2020, up more than 60% since 2012.
Several studies that have investigated the net impact on employment of environmental policy measures suggest it is positive, as the decrease of fossil fuel jobs in the net-zero scenario is more than compensated by new jobs created in renewables, power grids and flexibility, and hydrogen.
In particular, the analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that the most cost-efficient pathway to reach net-zero by 2050 could lead to a 14 million increase in energy sector jobs. This gain is forecast to occur by 2030, thanks to new investment in the clean energy sector, and be offset by a possible decline of 5 million positions in the fossil fuel industry. The result is a potential net gain of 9 million jobs globally over the next decade.
As for the energy efficiency sector, the implementation of the principle “Energy efficiency first” in all sectors of the economy will create new jobs for Ukrainians. This is another undoubted argument in favor of energy efficiency as part of the Recovery Plan of Ukraine, – noted the SAEE. Raising employment, which is extremely necessary in the post-war period both for the country and directly for Ukrainian families, is one of the positive consequences of the energy efficiency development. At the same time, this sector offers a wide range of work areas in various sectors: industry, construction, housing, transport and others.
According to the IEA, accelerating the development of energy efficiency could create an additional 10 million workplaces worldwide by 2030 in areas such as new construction and renovation of buildings, and industrial and transport infrastructure. At the same time, the rapid development of energy efficiency is impossible without highly qualified specialists. Therefore, the development of educational and scientific potential is important.
Ukraine has strong higher education institutions that train power engineers, energy managers and other professionals in related fields, as well as certify those who intend to carry out certification of buildings and inspection of engineering systems.
Net Zero by 2050 A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, IEA, May 2021.