These jobs have been created mostly in the fields of energy conservation and the development of renewable energy.
Overall, the French green sectors now employ over 294,000 jobs (up from 204,000 jobs in 2006). The ADEME is optimistic that this trend will continue and believes an additional 200,000 jobs could be created by 2012.
The energy conservation and renewable energy sectors grew by 28 percent and represent a market worth €50 billion ($75 billion). They could grow to up to €90 billion ($135 billion) by 2012.
Energy conservation in the building sector represents an important share of the new jobs — as many as 110,000, including 90,000 jobs in the field of renovation. Renewable energy comes second with as many as 70,000 new jobs between 2006 and 2008.
In support of this trend, the local government enacted a zero-interest rate loan for housing renovation to enable people to weatherize and install heating systems based on renewable energy sources. This allows homeowners to borrow up to €30,000 ($45,000).
However, the number of green jobs increased by around ten percent per year, which is less than the government’s objectives — known as the Grenelle de l’Environnement. It expected the French green sector to go up by 20 percent per year. It is worth noting that in 2009, the sector employment went up by 14 percent.
According to a previous report by the Boston Consulting Group, the Grenelle de l’Environnement could create or keep up to 600,000 jobs by 2020. The study also noted that French greenhouse emissions would decrease by 27 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels, or 14 percent by 1990 levels. The majority of these jobs are expected in the building sector as up to 20 million of apartments and buildings need to be retrofitted in France. Transportation and renewable energy would add most of the other jobs.
Despite the fact that 78 percent of its electricity comes from nuclear and 10 percent from hydro, France is progressing fast on the renewables front, with four gigawatts of wind energy capacity already having been added.
[photo: iulian nistea]