Employment in Renewable Energy Sector Reaches 5.7 Million Globally

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched a pioneering new report – Renewable Energy and Jobs – on employment in the renewable energy sector. The first global study of its kind, it features new data on employment within the sector, as well as recommendations for policy makers. According to the report, employment in renewable energy worldwide stood at 5.7 million in n2012 with the potential for adding 11 million jobs in the years to 2030.

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“The new report helps to bridge a knowledge gap in terms of specific analytical work and empirical evidence on a global scale, which to date has been limited,”Rabia Ferroukhi, Senior Programme Officer at IRENA and lead author of the report, said. “Our report creates a greater understanding of how renewable energy generates jobs and wealth. It is a breakthrough for informed policy choices in this important area.”

Bringing together information from a wide variety of sources, the report shows that the majority of jobs are currently concentrated in China, the European Union, Brazil, the United States and India. Employment trends of the different renewable energy technologies vary. Today, the report finds, biofuels and solar PV provide the most jobs. By 2030, employment for all renewable energy technologies combined is projected to rise to approximately 16.7 million. Renewable energy employment reflects regional shifts in renewable energy manufacturing, industry realignments, growing export competition, and changes in policy directions, the report finds.

Renewable Energy and Jobs outlines a series of key recommendations to strengthen future job creation in the sector, including a mix of policies tailored to specific country conditions and priorities; forward-looking education and training policies; and dedicated off-grid renewable energy policies to create jobs and stimulate growth in rural economies.

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