TON VAN DRIL
About EurObserv’ER: quantifies current European Union jobs and turnover in renewables
What is EurObserv’ER and when did it start monitoring socio-economic processes in the EU RES sub-sectors?
Deployment of renewable energy technologies in European Union Member States has been monitored by the EurObserv’ER project  since 1999. The work is supported by DG ENER  for the four-year period, 2017- 2020. The EurObserv’ER consortium consists of the French Observ’ER and many other partners, in various compositions over the years. Originally, 15 countries were monitored; currently, the scope encompasses all 28 Member States. The focus of the monitor was initially limited to capacity and energy data, but gradually, more and more indicators were included and quantified. In 2008, when the Dutch member (ECN part of TNO ) joined the team, EurObserv’ER started reporting on two socio-economic indicators: employment and turnover. The 2017 Edition of the annual publication, The State of Renewable Energies in Europe , features a new approach for deriving these socio-economic indicators.
What are the main benefits of the new EurObserv’ER employment assessment methodology?
The relative impact on the job market of renewable energy technologies varies per country, depending on, among other factors, the location of production facilities, trading activities and feedstock production, but also on non-technology-related aspects such as the efficiency of the labour force and wage levels. Secondary effects are also significant, such as jobs in information and communication technology or payroll services, which play a role in the installation and exploitation phase.The main benefit of the new methodology  is that every Member State is analysed in the same way, thereby improving cross-country comparison; this makes the assessment more powerful, as the scope and definitions are guaranteed to be the same. Another positive aspect of the methodology is transparency. The data is, for the most part, publicly available via Eurostat, and the methodology is well documented and published on the EurObserv’ER website. The approach is therefore fully transparent and can be used by other research institutes, consultants, and governmental agencies. Finally, this is a bottom-up approach, based on investments, the generation of money flows, and the creation of jobs per country, technology, and economic sector. This allows the researcher to gain a better understanding of the impact of a technology on the job market, such as the impact of the manufacturing industry and the effect of increased deployment on a national economy.
What are the most important recent trends in RES employment in Europe?
The EurObserv’ER employment estimate for the EU in 2016 amounted to 1.4 million people, roughly similar to the estimate for 2015 (less than 1% reduction). This result is a balance of changes occurring at the technology level. A decrease in employment was observed for wind power (-2%), solar photovoltaics (-15%), hydropower (-20%), biogas (-9%), solar thermal heat and power (-6%) and geothermal (-30%). An increase was observed for solid biomass (+2%), heat pumps (+4%), biofuels (+15%) and renewable municipal solid waste (+5%). The EurObserv’ER analysis confirms that early mover countries which succeed in capturing a share of the European or worldwide renewable energy technology market, still benefit today from setting up their own manufacturing industry. Examples are found in the wind energy sector, where European firms are serving both European and worldwide markets. In economic terms, the combined turnover related to renewable energy in the 28 European Union Member States reached EUR 149 billion in 2016, down slightly from 2015 (EUR 151 billion -1%). The largest share can be attributed to wind power (26% of total EU renewable turnover), solid biomass (21%), and the heat pump sector (20%).
 Under the service contract number: №ENER/C2/2016-487/SI2.742173 in the Horizon 2020 Energy programme
 EurObserv’ER, The State of Renewable Energies in Europe, 17th edition, 2017