Renewable energies employed around 387,000 people in 2022

The number of employees working on the energy transition keeps growing. For 2022, the statistics show the largest proportion since 2012 and the largest annual rise since 2006.

Renewable energies employed around 387,000 people in 2022© Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

In 2022, 50,400 people had the good fortune to get a new job in the context of the energy transition. The number of employees working on renewable energy thus reached a new high of 387,000 in 2022, up by an impressive 14.9% from the year before.

The energy transition has long since become a driving force for jobs, and contributes to prosperity in Germany: “By introducing the energy transition, the Federal Government has not only set the course for a fundamental restructuring of our energy supply. The expansion of renewables safeguards jobs in Germany and creates new ones,” said Minister Habeck in response to the latest figures.

Here’s a look at the individual technologies:

The number of people working on solar energy (84,100 employees in 2022) rose by 22,800. This means that around 22% of all the people working on renewable energy were employed in the “solar sector”. Most of these jobs were in the field of photovoltaics, although employment also rose considerably in the area of solar thermal energy.

In contrast, around 9,000 fewer people worked in onshore wind in 2022 than the year before (2022: 94,100 employees). At 24%, though, the onshore wind sector still provides a large proportion of the jobs in the energy transition. Employment in offshore wind energy grew, with more than 6,400 extra jobs being created in 2022 (up to 30,100 people). This corresponds to a share of 8% of all renewable energy jobs.

In the case of ambient / geothermal heat, the statistics recorded 55,000 employees, a share of 14%. This marked an increase of 20,100 from the year before, triggered largely by the rising number of heat pumps. The number of jobs in biomass has remained consistently high for quite some time, and amounted to 117,900 employees in 2022 (9,900 more jobs than in 2021). This equates to a share of 30%.

The main driving force for jobs continues to be, by some distance, investment in renewable energy installations and their components. In 2022, 238,000 people were working on this (up by 23% from 2021).

The operation and maintenance of equipment for all technologies is also a stable provider of employment. In 2022, around 85,200 people were employed in this sector in Germany (up by 3% from 2021), and this will grow slowly but steadily as the roll-out continues. Around 65,500 people were employed in the supply of (biogenic) fuels in 2022.