Wind power works...and work equals jobs. So finds the German Minister for the Environment in a recently released report. The addition of 70,000 employees in the sector over the past five years brings the total employment created by the renewables to 170,000. According to Milan Nitzschke, boss of the German Renewable Energy Federation, "The job machine renewable energies exceed all expectations". (Although the German word "Bundeskanzlerin", or Female Chancellor, won the word of the year 2005, "Jobmaschine" would have had my vote). No other field has experienced so much job creation over this time frame. In the face of high unemployment, these figures are yet another reason to celebrate renewables (as if we need one). The report results from a study by the German Institute for Economic Studies and makes predictions for the worldwide growth of renewables as well.
The study projects that investment in renewables will grow to 250 billion euros per year by 2020, from current levels around 40 billion a year. The German economy would benefit with an increase to 300,000 jobs in the sector in this scenario.
The full report gives details on the sector. Wind energy still leads in job creation (41%) followed closely by renewable fuels. One of the most interesting tables, here left, shows the growth in renewable energy, with wind power starting from nothing to dominate the supply. If you want to brush up on your German or just look at the colorful charts and tables depicting the results of the study, the 10-page pdf can be downloaded from the German EPA.