Renewable Energy: Green Jobs

Case Study from IIASA Annual Report 2011: 

Researchers analyzed initiatives to deploy large-scale solar and wind capacities in North African countries.

IIASA's Risk, Policy and Vulnerability Program (RPV)  in 2011 analyzed two initiatives to deploy large-scale solar and wind capacities in the North Africa countries from a technology transfer perspective: the public Mediterranean Solar Plan, which foresees deployment of 20 GW of renewable energies capacities, and the private Desertec industrial Initiative, those long-term goal is to satisfy 15% of the Europe’s electricity demand by 2050.

Technology transfer: horizontal or vertical?

The new research drew a distinction between vertical transfer – in which intellectual property and manufacturing capacity remains in industrialized countries – and horizontal transfer, in which manufacturing and development skills shift to the developing countries.

The process of transferring renewable energy technologies from industrialized to
developing countries is essential for global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
and for much-needed job creation. North Africa has one of the lowest new job creation
ratios in the world: unemployment actually increased after the Arab spring which,
combined with increasing food prices, is contributing to poverty in the region.

Modeling green jobs

The research adapted a model of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
to the cost parameters and conditions in the North African region, such as construction
and equipment costs as well as financing patters and wages. It was found that
deployment of renewable energies could begin to boost North African economies
under horizontal technology transfer necessary to generate 700 TWh/y of electricity.
If 40% of component manufacturing were local, then total (direct and indirect)
job-years would be 430,000 and the induced employment would generate over 2
million job-years; if local manufacturing were 100%, then 6 million job-years in induced
employment would result. Over 20 years, this would lead to annual employment of
between 100,000 and 300,000 people, while under vertical technology transfer, fewer
than 100,000 job-years would be created. As an RPV case study of Morocco suggests, if any country were to gain a disproportionate share of new investment, job creation would be substantial  – enough to push the country toward the more service-oriented economy typical of industrialized countries.

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Last edited: 19 July 2013

IIASA Annual Report 2011

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