Renewable Energy Cuts Unemployment in Half


The German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, part of the former East Germany, was known as one of the poorest parts of the country. Unemployment in the state peaked at over 20% in 2004 before beginning a sharp decline. As of September 2011, the unemployment rate was 11.1% and still on a downward trend. The renewable energy sector is being credited with the incredible rebound in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s economy.

In May 2011, Germany announced that it was accelerating its renewable energy strategy and would close all nuclear power plants by 2022. Around 17 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from renewable sources, but the country plans to increase that to about 50 percent.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the shipyards were the traditional industry. However, the number of jobs in that sector dropped from 32,800 in 1989 to around 3,300 today. Now, major investments are being made in renewable energy. According to the New York Times:

Renewable energies, especially wind energy, are injecting new optimism into Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, reflected in a word that often comes up in conversations with business and political leaders: reindustrialization.

In a state with a seafaring heritage, there are now more jobs in renewable energy than in shipyards: 6,000 jobs at 704 companies, a number expected to reach 22,000 by 2020.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is posed to be a leader in renewable energy in Germany. The state already gets half of its electricity from renewable sources — five times as much as in 2000.  The state’s plans involve first producing enough renewable energy to cover all of its own needs and then becoming an energy exporting state.

Could investments in renewable energy in other countries create similar job booms?


Related stories:

Germany Plans to Shut Down All Nuclear Plants by 2022

Renewable Energy Sector Growing Despite Down Economy

UK Company Turns “Poo Power” Into Electricity


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Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

good for the unemployed, bad for the birds

Kerrie G.
Kerrie G.3 years ago

If they hadn't put so many chemtrails in the sky -like in the picture- for the last 10 or more years there wouldn't be such a need for renewable energy.

Penny M.
Penelope Melko3 years ago

I live in the Tehachapi Pass. The destruction of the entire environment is monumental! It is not Green. Each turbine uses 1200 tons of reinforced concrete for each pad. The water for it comes from riparian wetlands one that will go down 9 feet. You all had better read an environmental impact report to find out what a scam that wind turbines and solar are and while you're at it, pay attention to the number of endangered species, that are legally protected will die at the hands of those companies. Jobs? I see lots of out of town white trucks that do not enrich local economies. How many of you would put an unprotected fan and let your 2 year old play with it? Yet, 500 foot 186 foot long blades chop up California condors, one of the rarest birds on earth to the point they've gone fom 186 to 88 birds in the wild. This is nuts. For any of you living in Southern California, drive north on the 14 freeway, get off at Silver Queen Road, go west, then weep over the carnage. I hate wind turbines and hear them from inside my house every day of my life.

Shirley Marsh
Shirley Marsh4 years ago

I've said it before and I'll say it again, imagine the impact on the progress of greening our planet if every building had solar panels on the roof and incorporated photovoltaic film wherever possible in building structures. This action alone could virtually eliminate the need for coal fired power stations. Add to this cars that run on alternative fuels like solar, hydrogen, etc., incorporating recycled glass in our road surfaces to reflect light - invaluable for long distance roads without street lights - and so on. The technology is there, all it takes is the will to make it happen.

Perhaps we should inundate our political representatives with letters and emails and messages on Facebook etc. demanding that they take a more proactive approach to these initiatives. And maybe the fossil fuel dinosaurs should start thinking outside the box and take a flying leap into the future by investing in alternative energy sources. Investors could help the process along by changing their investment portfolios to include alternative energy sources and deleting their investment in fossil fuels altogether! Think that might help?

Arild Warud


dve d.
wiz w.4 years ago

noted and thank for the info x

Juergen Friedrich

@CAROLE_K -- I like your expression "if the nation puts it's collective mind toward the change; then the change can occur rather rapidly & dramatically".

It sounds to me, that your sentence about 'collective mind' is a synonym for 'identity'.

Coordinated 'collective mind' is the strongest renewable energy you can think of. It changes the world to the better.

Carole K.
Carole K.4 years ago

This German experience shows that if the nation puts it's collective mind toward the change; then the change can occur rather rapidly & dramatically. Progress toward green renewable energy programs are sorely needed throughout the world to save the planet from destruction. TY for informing the public that "it can be done", for making people aware that change IS possible.

Valerie A.
Valerie A.4 years ago


Brigid C.
Brigid C.4 years ago

wish everyone could do this