Solar accounted for a third of renewables jobs globally in 2021 – IRENA

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
China had 2.7 million solar jobs last year. Image: Mariana Proenca via Unsplash.

Nearly a third of all renewable technologies employment came from the solar PV industry in 2021, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The solar industry added 300,000 jobs in 2021 to reach 4.3 million and continues to account for the largest share of employment among renewables technologies.

Released in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the report shows that China, the leading manufacturer of PV equipment and largest solar installation market, increased its share from 58% in 2020 to 63% of PV employment worldwide, totalling some 2.7 million jobs. Manufacturing activities accounted for 1.6 million PV jobs in China.

While the US recovered from a dip in 2020 and rose to 255,000 workers last year, a 9% increase, Japan continues to reduce its workforce in the solar industry with an estimated 151,000 jobs in 2021, down from 220,000 in 2020.

Japan lost its third position to the booming Indian market, which recorded 217,000 jobs in the solar industry last year.

Also in the top ten countries for solar employment – which together accounted for 87% of the global total – last year were Bangladesh, Brazil, Poland, Germany, Vietnam and Australia, according to IRENA.

A recent report from trade body SolarPower Europe indicated that Poland had the largest solar workforce in Europe, ahead of Germany, despite not being the largest regional market in terms of installed capacity.

Reflecting the region’s dominance in solar manufacturing and strong deployment figures, Asia accounted for 79% of the world’s PV jobs in 2021. It was followed by the Americas with 7.7% (down from its 9% in 2020), Europe up from 6% in 2020 to 6.6% (with the EU accounting for 5.5%) and the rest of the world (4.9%).

“To secure jobs and other socioeconomic benefits worldwide, more countries across the globe need to pursue policies to boost their domestic capabilities,” said Francesco La Camera, IRENA director-general and Guy Ryder, ILO director-general.

Furthermore, the report outlined “encouraging” advances made in workforce gender equity, with the solar industry faring better than the renewable energy sector as a whole, but more remains to be done to boost women’s participation at all levels of the sector, according to the report.

6 June 2023
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2023 & 2024. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!

Read Next

November 23, 2022
LONGi Green Energy Technology has signed an investment agreement to set up a 10GW monocrystalline module manufacturing facility in China’s Guangdong Province.
Sponsoredtrue
November 23, 2022
Newly launched solar inverter and solutions provider Solinteg has launched a range of new PV products in recent months as it expands its international presence and targets 2GW of production capacity next year, rising to 10GW in 2025.
November 22, 2022
A subsidiary of polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy has signed a five-year polysilicon supply agreement with an undisclosed solar manufacturing company in China.
November 17, 2022
Thin-film manufacturer First Solar has confirmed that its fourth US factory will be opened in Lawrence County, Alabama. The factory has an expected manufacturing capacity of 3.5GWdc annually and will represent an investment of approximately US$1.1 billion.
November 17, 2022
The solar PV industry is forecast to produce 310GW of modules in 2022, representing an incredible 45% year-on-year increase compared to 2021, according to the latest research undertaken by the PV Tech market research team and outlined in the new PV Manufacturing & Technology Quarterly report.
November 16, 2022
Strata Clean Energy, a US solar and storage developer, has acquired Arizona-based Crossover Energy Partners to expand its offerings and execution capabilities.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
November 29, 2022
Malaga, Spain
Solar Media Events
February 22, 2023
Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge
Solar Media Events
March 14, 2023
Berlin, Germany
Solar Media Events
March 21, 2023
Lisbon, Portugal
Solar Media Events
June 6, 2023
Napa, USA