New survey finds 14,000 full-time jobs associated with UK PV industry in 2013

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) National Solar Centre (NSC) has completed an extensive survey and report of the UK solar power industry in 2013.

The study reinforced the growing sense of “long-term potential” in the UK solar market, as there were approximately 14,000 full-time jobs associated with the nation’s PV sector in 2013. The total sum of jobs calculated involves both building and ground-mounted projects, as well as both office staff and positions within the PV supply chain.

Due to the more labour intensive nature of domestic or commercial level, the survey showed those sectors required 20 jobs per MW installed in comparison to the job totals for larger ground-mounted projects that required seven jobs per MW installed.

During the year, the UK saw 521MW of projects under 1MW installed while also constructing 510MW of projects over 1 MW for a total installation capacity of 1,031MW in 2013.

The report, which focused on jobs within the UK sector in regards to both staffing numbers and project installation activities, was commissioned by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The survey will be used to measure the economic standing of the UK PV market, as well as to provide DECC with accurate job numbers within the industry.

Jonny Williams, associate director of the BRE National Solar Centre said: "Previous attempts by the industry to accurately calculate job numbers were largely unsuccessful as many solar installers carry out other types of work as well…We solved the problem by developing our own methodology, enabling us to relate actual job numbers to product quantities installed in 2013 and recorded by DECC and Ofgem."

Additional details and specific highlights of the report are due to be released in DECC’s Solar Strategy publication in the coming weeks.