Solar, wind power and other renewable energy sources will create 35 million jobs globally by 2050, according to a report from the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland.

The report, ‘Job creation during the global energy transition towards 100% renewable power system by 2050’, estimates that the number of jobs globally will grow from 21 million in 2015 to 35 million in 2050, with renewable energy accounting for 80% of total direct energy jobs.

Lappeenranta University of Technology professor Christian Breyer, one of the study authors, told Power Technology: “The jobs will be rather similar to existing jobs, except that these jobs are sustainable ones, which is not true any more for coal, fossil gas and oil jobs. Most jobs are for the operation and maintenance of power plants, similar to today. Additional jobs are created for manufacturing of the technical equipment and in addition, jobs are created for the construction and installation of all these new power plants.

“This is also similar to the existing energy system. Substantial less subsidies are needed for these jobs. The International Monetary Fund has published that $6,000bn subsidies are spent annually for fossil fuels globally. This is not needed anymore for renewables. This means that these jobs are much more profitable for society since not enabled by huge subsidies.”

Solar photovoltaic cells (PV), batteries, and wind power are predicted to create the most jobs in the power sector. Operation and maintenance jobs will also contribute 50% to the total. The report claims to be the first global study presenting job creation projections for energy storage.

Breyer said: “Construction, installation and operation and maintenance jobs are always local jobs, independently where the equipment is manufactured. Thus most jobs are distributed to the places of demand. This will create a lot more jobs in energy importing countries, which is the case for most countries.”