Global solar PV employment up to nearly 4 million in 2020 – IRENA

More people were employed in solar than any other renewables sector in 2020, IRENA said. Image: CS Energy.

Despite delays and supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, global solar PV employment increased by 6% last year to reach nearly 4 million, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Rising from the 3.75 million jobs in 2019, solar continued to account for the largest share of employment positions of all renewables technologies last year.

Released in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the report shows that China, the leading manufacturer of PV equipment and largest solar installation market, accounted for about 58% of PV employment worldwide, or some 2.3 million jobs.

Although total solar employment grew globally, the second and third markets in IRENA’s ranking, the US and Japan, both saw a reduction in PV jobs last year, falling to 231,000 and 220,000, respectively. The US Department of Energy, however, said in July that solar employers in the country are expecting to bounce back this year.

Also in the top 10 countries for solar employment – which together accounted for 85% of the global total – last year were India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany and Australia, according to IRENA.

Reflecting the region’s dominance in solar manufacturing and strong deployment figures, Asia accounted for 79% of the world’s PV jobs in 2020. It was followed by the Americas with 9%, Europe (6%) and the rest of the world (6%).

“Renewable energy’s ability to create jobs and meet climate goals is beyond doubt. With COP26 in front of us, governments must raise their ambition to reach net zero,” said Francesco la Camera, IRENA director-general.

A study published earlier this year suggested that a global shift to 100% renewables by 2050 could lead to a nearly 10-fold increase in the number of solar PV jobs.

Read Next

September 28, 2022
GoodWe's ES G2 power inverter can provide energy autonomy for homeowners amid load shedding and rising electricity costs.
September 27, 2022
Nearly a third of all renewable technologies employment came from the solar PV industry in 2021, according to a new report from the IRENA.
September 27, 2022
Tongwei has announced plans to sign an investment agreement to develop a 25GW high-efficiency PV module manufacturing base in China
September 23, 2022
Solar accounted for half of all global power generating capacity added last year, with 182GW deployed, a 25% increase on 2020, according to a report from BloombergNEF (BNEF).
September 22, 2022
Wood Mackenzie has repeated warnings that module supply shortages are set to persist until the end of 2023.
September 21, 2022
Under the REPowerEU scenario to install 750GWdc of solar across the European Union by 2030, the bloc will require 1 million solar workers, double the numbers from 2021.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
On-Demand Webinars, Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event
Upcoming Webinars
October 18, 2022
10am (EDT) / 4pm (CEST)