Tuesday 20 November 2018

Global renewables workforce to hit 24m by 2030

DUBAI, May 24, 2017

Global energy system is creating more jobs in renewables than in fossil-fuel technologies, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

Falling costs and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy industry leading to employment of 9.8 million people worldwide last year, stated Irena in its annual review  "Renewable Energy and Jobs – 2017," released at the 13th council meeting.

The report provides the latest employment figures of the renewable energy sector and insight into the factors affecting the renewable labour market.

At the time of Irena’s first annual assessment in 2012, just over seven million people were working in the renewables sector, remarked Irena director-general Adnan Z. Amin.

"In the last four years, for instance, the number of jobs in the solar and wind sectors combined has more than doubled," revealed Amin.

According to him, renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition.

"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," stated Amin.

Irena's annual review 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 last year with China, Brazil, the US, India, Japan and Germany dominating the jobs market.

In China for example, 3.64 million people worked in renewables last year, up 3.4 per cent over 2015.

Irena’s report shows that solar photovoltaic (PV) was the largest employer with 3.1 million jobs, up 12 per cent from 2015, mainly in China, the US and India.

In the US, jobs in the solar industry increased 17 times faster than the overall economy, growing 24.5 per cent from the previous year to over 260,000.

New wind installations contributed to a seven per cent increase in global wind employment, raising it up to 1.2 million jobs, said the Irena report.

Brazil, China, the US 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, it added.

"Irena has provided this year a more complete picture on the state of employment in the renewables sector, by including large hydropower data," said Dr Rabia Ferroukhi, head of the policy unit and deputy director of Knowledge, Policy and Finance.

It is important to recognise these additional 1.5 million working people, as they represent the largest renewable energy technology by installed capacity,” she added.

The report finds that globally, 62 per cent 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.

In Africa, utility-scale renewable energy developments have made great strides, with South Africa and North Africa accounting for three-quarters of the continent’s 62,000 renewable jobs.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Renewable energy | China | Workforce | Brazil | Irena |

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