According to the latest analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), for the year 2018, eleven million people were employed across the globe in the renewable energy sector. This is in an increase from 10.3 million in 2017.
As the number of countries that manufacture, trade and install renewable energy technologies increases, so does the renewable jobs available. The recent Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, reported that despite slower growth in key renewable energy markets such as China, renewables jobs grew to their highest level.
Up until now renewable energy industries always remained concentrated in a few key markets such as the United States, China and the European Union, however, the sector’s geographic footprint is changing as a result of the diversification of the renewable energy supply chain.
Asia is the majority shareholder of renewable energy jobs, accounting for 60% worldwide, this is a result of several East and Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam emerging as key exporters of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
Director-General of IRENA, Francesco La Camera said, “Beyond climate goals, governments are prioritising renewables as a driver of low-carbon economic growth in recognition of the numerous employment opportunities created by the transition to renewables,”
Mr La Camera continued, “Renewables deliver on all main pillars of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social. As the global energy transformation gains momentum, this employment dimension reinforces the social aspect of sustainable development and provides yet another reason for countries to commit to renewables.”
Wind power and Solar photovoltaic (PV) power remain the most dynamic of all renewable energy industries. In 2018 solar PV was the leader, accounting for one-third of the total renewable energy workflow, followed by liquid biofuels, hydropower, and wind power. On a geographic scale, Asia employs more than three million PV jobs, nearly nine-tenths of the global total.
Onshore projects predominate employment in wind power with over 1.2 million jobs. However, the offshore segment is gaining significant traction and can gain from expertise and infrastructure in the offshore oil and gas sector.
You can download Download IRENA’s Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review HERE