Global renewable energy employment increases by more than a million jobs

A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has revealed that more 7.7 million people worldwide are employed in the global renewable energy industry.
Global renewable energy employment increases by more than a million jobs

The figure represents an 18 percent increase from last year’s figure of 6.5 million. The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015, also provides a first-ever global estimate of the number of jobs supported by large hydropower, with a conservative estimate of an additional 1.5 million direct jobs worldwide.

“Renewable energy continues to assert itself as a major global employer, generating strong economic and social benefits worldwide” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “This increase is being driven, in part, by declining renewable energy technology costs, which creates more jobs in installation, operations and maintenance. We expect this upward trend to continue as the business case for renewable energy continues to strengthen.”

Mr Amin added that continued investment in renewable energy and its multiple economic, environmental and social benefits will mean that employment in renewables will continue to climb. IRENA’s research estimates that doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030, would result in more than 16 million jobs worldwide.

As in previous years, employment in the industry is shaped by regional shifts, industry alignments, growing competition and advances in technologies and manufacturing processes. Increasing numbers of jobs are being created in Asia, particularly China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Bangladesh. This means that, even with continued jobs growth, the amount of renewable energy employment in the European Union (EU) and the US has shrunk to 25 percent of the global total compared to 31 percent in 2012.

The solar PV industry is the largest renewable energy employer worldwide, with 2.5 million jobs, followed by liquid biofuels (1.8 million jobs) and wind power (in excess of 1 million). The increase in employment spreads across the sector with solar, wind, biofuels, biomass, biogas and small hydropower all seeing increases in employment.

For additional information:

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

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