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PV Employment


The role of the European PV industry for the Europe’s jobs and education today and tomorrow

Duration: 2006 – 2009 ● Client: European Commission (FP6) ● WIP Expertise: Policy development, Communication and Dissemination ● www.pvemployment.org

WIP together with the partners EPIA, University of Flensburg and the National Technical University of Athens were carrying the project of PV Employment. The project was co-financed by under the 6th EU Framework Programme for research and Technological Development. WIP was responsible for defining the processes for the input-output model for different technologies, to discuss the PV market scenarios with the industry including cost and production structures.

As the employment situation is a key political issue the following questions concerning the European PV industry have been answered:

  • How many net jobs will be created by the expanding European Photovoltaic Industry?
  • What is the qualification profile of employees needed in the future to allow the on-going expansion of the European PV industry? How should higher education institutions react?

An input-output model with special emphasis on the production structure of the different stages of PV production, installation, operation/maintenance, recycling and R&D has been developed. This has been based on the available input-output tables of key member countries of the EU. The model has allowed the calculation of the expected numbers of net created jobs by the European PV industry. Different market scenarios e.g. up to 2050 were fed into this model.

The model has allowed calculating the number of created jobs in dependence of

  • Different scenarios for the PV market development up to 2050
  • Different developments of cost and production structures of the different parts of the PV industry
  • Different developments of market structures and technologies like changes in the market shares of different technologies, e.g. crystalline vs. thin film.

To gain information about the influence of a rising share of solar electricity in Europe with all its consequences for all other industries, a general equilibrium model has been developed. This model provides detailed predictions about these consequences for different PV market development scenarios up to 2050.

Another key result about the European PV industry are the qualification profiles of its employees. These profiles combined with the predicted job numbers created by the European PV industry allow clear recommendations to higher education institutions about the skills and qualifications that will be requested from the European PV industry for its further expansion.