Global renewable energy industry supports 10.3m jobs

The solar sector remains the largest employer of all renewable technologies, accounting for nearly 3.4 million jobs

Around 10.3 million people are employed in the renewable energy industry globally.

The sector created more than 500,000 new jobs last year – a 5.3% increase from 2016, according to latest figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

China, Brazil, the US, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable employers, representing more than 70% of all industry jobs globally.

The solar sector continues to be the largest employer of all renewable technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs – up almost 9% from 2016, following a record 94GW of installations last year.

China has been estimated to account for two-thirds of the solar jobs, followed by Japan, the US, India and Bangladesh.

Jobs in the wind energy sector fell slightly last year to 1.15 million worldwide, with China accounting for around 44% of global employment, followed by Europe and North America, with 30% and 10% respectively.

While 60% of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia, half of the top 10 countries with the largest installed wind power capacity in the world are European.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “Renewable energy has become a pillar of low carbon economic growth for governments all over the world, a fact reflected by the growing number of jobs created in the sector.

“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalised picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident. Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”

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