New Delhi: The total number of people employed in the renewable energy sector including large hydropower grew 5.3 per cent to 10.3 million globally from 9.79 per cent in the previous year, according to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, the agency said in a report released today, adding China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70 per cent of all industry jobs globally.
“Although growing numbers of countries are reaping the socio-economic benefits of renewables, the bulk of manufacturing takes place in relatively few countries and domestic markets vary enormously in size. Sixty per cent of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia,” the report said.
Adnan Z Amin, Director General of IRENA, said the new data supports the agency’s analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.
The solar PV industry remains the largest employer of all renewable energy technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs, up almost 9 per cent from 2016 following a record 94 Gigawatt (Gw) of installations in 2017. China was estimated to account for two-thirds of PV jobs which was equivalent to 2.2 million and represented an expansion of 13 per cent over the previous year.
Despite a slight dip in Japan and the United States, the two countries followed China as the largest markets for solar PV employment in the world. India and Bangladesh complete a top five that accounts for around 90 per cent of global solar PV jobs.
“By providing policy makers with this level of detail about the composition of renewable energy employment and skills requirements, countries can make informed decisions on several important national objectives, from education and training, to industrial policies and labour market regulations,” said F R Ferroukhi, Head of IRENA’s Policy Unit and Deputy Director of Knowledge, Policy and Finance.
Jobs in the wind industry contracted slightly last year to 1.15 million worldwide. While wind jobs are found in a relatively small number of countries, the degree of concentration is lower than in the solar PV sector. China accounts for 44 per cent of global wind employment, followed by Europe and North America with 30 and 10 per cent, respectively. Half of the top ten countries with the largest installed capacity of wind power in the world are European.
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