IRENA Report: Renewable energy employs 8.1 million people worldwide

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Solar employment in the US grew 22% — 12 times faster than job creation in the US economy. China led all employment in the renewable-energy sector with 3.5 million jobs.

According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the renewable energy sector has employed 8.1 million people worldwide — a 5% increase from last year.

According to the report the PV sector remains the largest renewable energy employer worldwide with 2.8 million jobs, compared to around 2.5 million in the previous analysis. 

Solar employment in the US grew 22% — 12 times faster than job creation in the US economy. China led all employment in the renewable-energy sector with 3.5 million jobs.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “The continued job growth in the renewable energy sector is significant because it stands in contrast to trends across the energy sector. “This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks. We expect this trend to continue as the business case for renewables strengthens and as countries move to achieve their climate targets agreed in Paris.”

The total number of renewable-energy jobs worldwide increased in 2015, while jobs in in other categories of the energy market fell, according to the report. In the US, renewable energy jobs rose 6%, while employment in oil and gas dropped 18%.

As has been the case in recent years, enabling policy frameworks remained a key factor in employment. National and state auctions in India and Brazil, tax credits in the United States and supportive polices in Asia have all helped spur employment boosts in the renewable-energy sector.

The countries with the most renewable energy jobs in 2015 included China, Brazil, the US, India, Japan and Germany. 

Amin added: “As the ongoing energy transition accelerates, growth in renewable energy employment will remain strong. IRENA’s research estimates that doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 – enough to meet global climate and development targets – would result in more than 24 million jobs worldwide.”

Overall, job totals in the European Union dipped for the fourth year in a row. Germany remains the highest European Union renewables employer — employing nearly as many as France, the United Kingdom and Italy combined. 

Read Next

February 25, 2021
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Global Solar Council (GSC) have called on Mexican lawmakers to prevent changes to the country’s Electricity Act, Ley de la Industria Electrica (LIE), which pose what they call “an unequivocal threat" to private investment in clean energy.
December 18, 2020
The cost of hydrogen produced with green energy could compete with those of fossil fuels by 2030, according to new research.
November 25, 2020
China’s Ministry of Finance has revealed subsidies for renewable energy in the country will increase by nearly 5% next year.
October 5, 2020
Central and southeastern European countries could cost-effectively cover more than one-third (34%) of their energy demand with renewables within ten years, a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds.
September 30, 2020
As the European Union forges ahead with its green recovery and looks to meet new emissions reduction targets, member states should ensure they convey the benefits of solar power to citizens while also building partnerships with industry, according to a panel speaking at this week’s SolarPower Summit.
June 2, 2020
IRENA finds world could save US$23bn per year if it replaced costly coal with cheaper solar and wind while Imperial College-IEA conclude green energy plays make more money at lower risk.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
March 9, 2021
Solar Media Events
March 17, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 13, 2021
Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021