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Thousands of Solar jobs with no one to fill them!

Solar power recruitment faces a critical crisis. A lack of skills in the industry threatens to extinguish the growth plans of ambitious global companies laying their claim as industry leaders. This monumental crisis could disrupt one of the most innovative and fastest-growing industries, even despite huge global investment on the backs of strict renewable energy targets.

As a result, demand for skilled solar candidates has never been higher, with many companies seeking to capitalise on national demand. These green transition targets aren’t attainable without skilled talent to fill the void.

Skills shortage in solar power industry

A massive solar skills shortage

First off, here’s a shocking stat 👉🏽 A 2020 Survey by the Electrical Contractors’ Association revealed that 48% of those trading in solar and storage lacked access to skilled employees.

Germany, the largest solar market in Europe, is predicted to face a shortage of 5 million workers by 2030 due to demographic shifts. If this issue is not addressed, then Solar companies can expect to stagnate, losing shareholder confidence and could be outperformed by their competitors who took action. Therefore, bridging the market is essential to stay afloat in the industry.

Hiring pressure in the solar industry

National bodies have set strict targets for Solar power among other renewable energy resources, for the global transition to greener energy sources. With Solar growing by 30% to over 600,000 employees in Europe alone, this is expected to double by 2030. That’s only seven years away!

This ambitious target will require over 1 million solar workers by 2030 and a doubled solar capacity to 320 GW by 2025 and 600 GW by 2030. It’s a similar story in the U.S, who anticipate an astounding 1 million clean energy jobs annually in the next 10 years. Additionally, at the present moment, only 3% OF U.S electricity is from Solar Panels, with a 40% target for 2035 set by the Biden Administration. Billions of solar panels will be needed.

It is no wonder then, like Europe, that the US is struggling to meet these ambitious targets, with 89% of US solar companies reporting difficulties when hiring because of….

  • Competition 🥇
  • A tiny applicant pool 📉
  • Lack of training ❌
  • Lack of technical skills ⚙️

Keeping your competitive edge when recruiting

Solar energy remains the most cost-effective way to generate electricity, with an impressive price drop over the last 15 years. Germany, the leading Solar Powerhouse in Europe set fixed prices on solar energy in an attempt to curb dramatic costs affecting more volatile energy sources in gas and oil.

Solar Power Skills Shortage

But with a lack of skilled solar industry talent, international competition is higher than ever, especially with China leading the market, responsible for 70% of all global solar production. China’s dominance means increased competition for talent after expansion into international markets and a powerful influence over market dynamics and the entire value chain. Already, European solar module manufacturers have recently stressed anxieties over the influx of cheap Chinese alternatives, pricing local companies out of the market space.

What solar power candidate skills are in demand?


There is a distinct shortage of skilled solar workers in construction and installation roles, those who can install and maintain solar panels. This is a significant challenge to the solar industry’s growth, with countless panels needed for the green transition. To make matters worse, the wind energy sector also competes for similarly skilled professionals, making hiring in renewable energy highly competitive.

What solar skills are in demand?
Solar digital

Digital Solar Expertise

The essential use of technology in global solar power projects has created a demand for skills in geographic information systems (GIS) and vital data analysis. This extends to field service personnel for operations and maintenance (O&M) activities, with optimised O&M requiring a blend of data analysis and engineering expertise.


Solar Project management

Skilled project managers are in demand to oversee the project lifestyle, from development, construction, and deployment to the execution of large-scale solar power energy projects. All this whilst managing large budgets, and coordinating effectively with various stakeholders.

Solar panel and blurred person with papers on background, closeup-min

Solar Regulatory Professionals

There is increasing demand for talent who possess valuable expertise in environmental law, policy, and regulations. These solar professionals need to have a niche skill set in overseeing complex sustainable processes involving permits and compliance requirements.

Solar financial challenges and shareholder concerns

Although many shareholders may consider skill shortages to be a temporary challenge, some dislike uncertainty and may grow frustrated if they perceive the skills shortage is interrupting a company’s ability to seize growth opportunities. Skills shortages may well realistically lead to project delays, increased costs and operational inefficiencies as companies look to borrow money for their projects.

Borrowing in a high-interest economy

And here’s the problem: Some companies are having to rely on financing to develop these projects. The higher interest rates can increase the cost of borrowing, making it more expensive to fund renewable energy initiatives. As a result, the financial viability of some projects may be compromised.

The dark side of long-term Solar contracts

This is the kicker – many long-term contracts selling energy at fixed prices are typically made BEFORE projects are developed. With the surge in global inflation, these fixed prices have become increasingly less of an advantage than first thought. The costs of producing and maintaining projects have risen significantly, made worse by the growing demand for renewable energy projects. This negatively affects talent acquisition, reducing demand for talent in non-economically viable projects.

Solar skills shortage and project safety

Another worrisome potentiality bothering shareholders is that the skills shortage may well lead to inexperienced individuals managing high-stakes, large-scale projects, raising concerns about safety and project financing.

Dramatic effects on solar candidate acquisition

All of these shareholder concerns listed above and below can have dramatic effects on candidate acquisition, with candidates possibly overlooking its potential and focusing only on instability. Some shareholders might reconsider their investments altogether, diversifying into other industries for more immediate returns and low risk.


However, many shareholders agree skills shortages may only be a temporary challenge. A large part of the value destruction is over…. With some investor confidence picking back up, and some reinvestment into Solar, rather than shorting stocks, could things be on the rise?

Solutions to the solar skills shortage crisis

What are the solutions to this Solar hiring crisis?

Hiring the best skilled solar professionals and generating streams of talent is crucial for solar companies. Securing the best solar talent will ensure greater efficiency and security of projects, reducing costs associated with a lack of skilled employees and alleviating the pressure of other financial burdens. Solar companies would benefit by adopting a strategy that involves both long-term and short-term solutions.

The long-term solar recruitment solutions

In-house Solar skill training

Standardising in-house training procedures with coordinated national efforts is crucial for expanding the Solar Power workforce. Some companies have established their own internal training centres, improving the education on offer to develop knowledge, technical and research skills upon entering the industry. Svea Solar opened three of these centres in Sweden, Spain, and Germany in 2022, resulting in 600 fully up-skilled Solar personnel. However, challenges like lack of pay during training, and skill mismatches may persist. It’s important not to overlook these when creating training programmes.

Solar power in house training to address the skills shortage

Solar learning processes

Including learning processes in company corporate values is a great long-term strategy. Each stage of development is a distinct learning opportunity for employees, with accumulated knowledge vital for using skills in new contexts. Maintaining accumulated learning in-house will limit the issue of skills shortage in case of turnover.

Solar Power skills shortages learning processes

The short-term solar hiring solutions

Partner with higher education institutions

Partnering with Universities is a more dynamic recruitment strategy, with organised sponsored projects, apprenticeships and internships on offer to upskill up-and-coming talent. These should cover all phases of the project lifecycle, from exploration to resource exploitation. Companies could encourage students to specialise in engineering and digital roles whilst promoting sustainable energy to account for a distinct lack in those with core installation capabilities and technological skills.

Attend Solar Skill events

Attend industry learning events

As skills shortages pile on the pressure industry events are a great way to inform and educate the workforce about complex projects and the high demand for roles. “Installing the Future. NOW!” is a regular UK event hosted in Birmingham. This event brings together industry leaders across the renewables sector, where visitors are exposed to the fitting of innovative solar panels whilst learning the true capabilities and scalability of these technologies.

Transferrable skills for the solar industry

Look for transferrable skills in other sectors 

Companies may look to energy utilities and industrial sectors because many skills can be transferred. Around 70% of oil & gas jobs have some skill overlap with low-carbon roles. The span of advertising is being stretched to reach people from other industries and communities where there may be limited long-term opportunities, such as military veterans.

A long and short-term solar recruitment solution

Choose a Solar recruitment partner

At a time of damaging solar skills shortages, a dynamic recruitment strategy is required. It’s crucial to partner with an expert in the market, a recruiter with a proven track record of promptly placing skilled solar talent. Their network of key industry professionals is invaluable when sourcing talent, especially in an industry suffering from skill shortages. They can land long-term hires or short-term contract personnel that share the mission, vision and values of solar companies, for greater retention and cost savings.

Acting fast will steal talent from competitors in a market notorious for its competitive edge, all whilst alleviating stakeholder and shareholder anxieties. Ultimately, recruitment companies can secure you urgent long-term hires for projects, and any future hires in years to come. This shouldn’t be underestimated. Securing this gold-dust talent provides ultimate stability to growth aspirations in the solar industry.

In conclusion: recruitment collaboration is key

To tackle these issues, governments, companies, and educational institutions must actively support facilitating worker mobility, standardised certifications, and funding sources for renewable energy recruitment. National governments should incentivise comprehensive training and reskilling programs and encourage partnerships with academic institutions to bring in the next generation of talent. Companies should partner with the recruitment sector, to find hard-to-acquire talent for urgent roles. Securing valuable long-term partnerships will enable solar companies to reach a whole range of seniority years down the line, keeping growth plans alive.

Are you ready to be the beacon of change in the Solar industry?

At Executive Integrity, we understand the critical need for skilled solar professionals to fuel the future of renewable energy.

Partner with Executive Integrity and secure the talent that will keep your solar projects shining brightly for years to come.

Our expert recruitment services can connect you with the top talent you need to drive efficiency, ensure project security, and reduce the financial burdens associated with skills shortages.

Don’t let the solar skills shortage extinguish your growth plans.

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