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Renewables

German renewables sector proves to be job engine

Germany's decision to phase out nuclear energy and boost renewalables has led to the creation of more green jobs. A study suggests that by 2020 half a million people will be employed in clean energy companies.

German government and business leaders are in agreement that the country's drive towards sustainable and clean energy will continue to prove a job engine in the decades ahead. In 2011, almost 382,000 people were employed in the country's renewables sector, a fresh study by the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) showed on Wednesday.

It means that the number of jobs in the sector has quadrupled since the turn of the millennium. The survey said the systematic expansion of renewable energy has not only been good from an environmental point of view, but also in terms of innovation, growth and employment in Germany.

The study says that while there's currently a crisis in the solar industry, it still accounts for about a third of all people employed in the renewables sector, as does the wind power segment.

Green future ahead

The German Renewable Energy Agency said employment structures differ substantially by region. Almost every fifth worker in the industry is employed in the southern German state of Bavaria.

If the framework conditions and investment incentives for renewables remain in place, more than half a million people will be employed in the green industry in Germany by 2020, the study maintains.

German business leaders are confident that sporadic drops in investment in domestic wind and solar farms can in future be largely compensated by an increase in exports of top-notch clean technology.

hg/mll (Reuters, dapd)