– Gross EU28 employment in the provision of energy efficiency goods and services sold in 2010 amounted to approximately 0.9m jobs.
– Setting an energy efficiency target of 30% for Europe would have a modest impact on GDP (-0.2% in the CGE model and +1.1% in the macro-econometric model), similar to the findings in earlier literature. The main reason for the difference is that the CGE model assumed that the investment to implement energy efficiency measures would crowd out other investment, whereas the macro-econometric model allowed the energy efficiency investment to be additional. (It would be interesting to hear views on which assumption is more realistic.)
– The impact on EU employment in the two models in the 30% energy efficiency scenario is +0.3% (macro-econometric model) to +1.9% (CGE model).
– The sectors that see the largest net increase in output and employment are those that produce investment goods or are in the supply chains for investment goods: construction, equipment and electrical goods, metals and non-metallic mineral products. The sectors from which output and employment are displaced are in energy extraction and supply.
– The manufacture and installation of energy efficient equipment and materials is a relatively labour-intensive activity.
– A stimulus to employment may also arise as a result of the export potential of energy efficiency activities. A key sector in this respect is automotive vehicles, which should be a priority for policies to promote innovation, strengthen skills and, in the case of technologies that represent a radical change from the internal combustion engine, encourage consumer take-up.
– The opportunities for new jobs and related changes in competencies are greatest in transport and buildings, and to a lesser extent in industry:
o In the construction sector, which is expected to be a major source of both low-skilled and high-skilled job creation in the context of energy efficiency investment, there will be a demand for new skills including use of new materials and technologies, sustainable construction processes and energy efficiency adapted technical solutions, planning and management skills, including client counselling and advice to meet new market demands, design evaluation and calculation of carbon footprint.
o In the green automotive vehicles sector the main challenge relates to the combination of electrical and mechanical skills required in the production of electric or hybrid cars, with additional backward (e.g. production of batteries) and forward (maintenance, battery charging, etc.) linkages to take into account. New and emerging green occupations include design, driver aids and emission control engineers, motor vehicle mechatronics technicians, automotive engineering technicians and automotive engineers. In the case of electric vehicles, the public sectorhas a key role in enhancing R&D activities.
o The non-metallic minerals sector requires skills including legislative and technical knowledge (especially materials science, process and mining, health and safety, environmental and technical risk management) as well as social, problem-solving, flexibility, understanding and management skills.
– The skills and occupations for which higher demand is likely are mainly high-skilled jobs related to: diagnosis, auditing and consulting; new technologies (measurement, metrology); and to organisation and coordination (optimisation of logistic chains, managers of major building projects). Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects are of particular importance because of the high technological content of at least some of the required occupations.
– The biggest impact on employment and skills is expected to be in construction. The fragmented nature of the industry and its high level of self-employment, particularly in the field of housing renovation, make its firms particularly difficult to target for engagement in skills improvement programmes. The quality of services available in this sector could therefore represent a significant bottleneckto the take-up of energy efficiency measures
(Building work on house, Châtelaillon-Plage, France, 2015)