World – Report finds renewable energy sector employed 9.8 million people worldwide in 2016

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By (Danny Romero)

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states that more than 9.8 million people were employed worldwide in the renewable energy sector in 2016.

The agency’s report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 shows the latest employment figures of the renewable energy sector and insight into the factors affecting the renewable labour market.

“Falling costs and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy worldwide since IRENA’s first annual assessment in 2012, when just over seven million people were working in the sector,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, said. “In the last four years, for instance, the number of jobs in the solar and wind sectors combined has more than doubled.

“Renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition,” Amin said. “As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world.”

The annual review report also shows that global renewable-energy employment, excluding large hydropower, reached 8.3 million in 2016. When accounting for direct employment in large hydropower, the total number of renewable-energy jobs globally climbed to 9.8 million. China, Brazil, the United States, India, Japan and Germany accounted for most of the renewable-energy jobs. In China, 3.64 million people worked in renewables in 2016, a rise of 3.4% compared to the previous year.

The report shows that solar photovoltaic was the largest employer in 2016, with 3.1 million jobs, up 12% from the previous year. The jobs were mainly in China, the United States and India. Brazil, China, the United States and India also proved to be key bioenergy job markets, with biofuels accounting for 1.7 million jobs, biomass 0.7 million, and biogas 0.3 million.

The report also finds that globally, 62% of the jobs are located in Asia. Installation and manufacturing jobs continue to shift to the region, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, which has become global centre for solar PV fabrication. South Africa and North Africa accounted for three-quarters of the continent’s 62,000 renewable jobs.

Source:: World – Report finds renewable energy sector employed 9.8 million people worldwide in 2016


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