Renewable energies: IW study: Skills shortage endangers energy transition

Electrical specialists are considered the “bottleneck of the energy transition”. But that’s exactly what’s missing.

The shortage of skilled workers threatens to slow down the energy transition in Germany. According to the German Economic Institute (IW), there is currently a shortage of around 216,000 skilled workers for the expansion of solar and wind energy. This is the result of a study by the Competence Center for Securing Skilled Workers (KOFA) at the IW, which the newspapers of the Funke media group reported on Saturday. Accordingly, there is a shortage of electricians, air conditioning technicians and computer scientists in particular.

According to the study, almost 17,000 electrical specialists are needed, they are the “bottleneck of the energy transition”. In addition, there is a lack of 14,000 experts in sanitary, heating and air conditioning technology (SHK) and around 13,600 computer scientists. Things are also looking bad for the youngsters. According to the survey, a good 14,760 training positions in the relevant professions in solar and wind energy were not filled in 2021.

Securing skilled workers should start early

“In order not to jeopardize the energy transition, securing skilled workers must be a top priority for everyone involved,” emphasized study author Anika Jansen from KOFA. In addition to targeted image campaigns, interest in technology should be promoted at an early stage.

The shortage of skilled workers is also getting worse in the skilled trades due to the additional tasks for climate protection. “You don’t have to be a prophet that these transformation tasks in climate protection and the energy and mobility transition will not be able to be mastered and fulfilled with the current workforce,” said the President of the Central Association of German Crafts (ZDH), Hans Peter Wollseifer, the newspapers the Funke media group. There is already a shortage of more than 250,000 skilled workers in the skilled trades, and the trend is rising.

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