Amidst the coronavirus global pandemic, very few if not none were spared, including the energy sector. As for the case of the clean energy sector, it registered the least number of employees in 2020 compared to years 2015 to 2019, according to BW Research Partnership. It analyzed federal unemployment filings from various organizations, including the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), and E4TheFuture.
From the analysis, the group came up with various deductions. One of them is that 429,000 employees who once worked in the clean energy sector were unemployed at the end of last year. Most of them lost their jobs due to the negative impact of the global pandemic. As a matter of fact, only 12% of the 429,000 workers had lost their jobs before coronavirus. That’s quite a drop, and if the industry will ever go back to employing such a high number of workers, it would need time. After about two and a half years, there are high chances of going back to how things were before COVID-19. It is sad how the pandemic has affected an industry that has been doing so well for five years within a single year.
Nevertheless, The Global Energy Talent Index Report 2021 (GETI 2021) suggests that all is not lost. Despite the pandemic doing much damage to its growth, the industry will start snowballing soon. After all, there are policies with tight schedules that are in favor of the sector. Clean energy is also the best way of dealing with climate change, which is on top of the list of priorities of many countries and regions. Despite the pandemic, wages weren’t affected to a great extent. Whereas 17% of the respondents had a pay cut, 35% had their salaries increased in 2020. In 2019, those who had an increase were 48%, while the losers in this context were 8%. It means 2020 was worse than 2019, but the decline was understandable given the different circumstances in the two years. If things go as planned, the number of people registering a pay increase will go up to 67%.
HIS Markit predicted on non-hydro renewables. It said that its global capital expenditures would increase by 7% compared to 2019 to $235 billion come 2020. Equally important, the report said that it would rise by 8.5% in 2021, closing at $255 billion. From 2021 to 2025, spending an extra 9% would translate to a clean energy capacity of 145%, which shows a remarkable increase. The pattern is quite clear. As much as 2020 wasn’t a good year for the sector, 2021 will most likely turn out to be its year.
This post was originally published on Downey Magazine