IRENA: Renewables employ 8.1 million people

Illustration (Photo: Pixabay)

New report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows that more than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry.

The report ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2016’ finds that total number of renewable energy jobs worldwide rose by 5% in 2015 compared to a year earlier.

In the broader energy sector, however, the number of jobs fell, report states.

In the United States for example, renewable energy jobs increased 6% while employment in oil and gas decreased 18%.

Likewise in China, renewable energy employed 3.5 million people, while oil and gas employed 2.6 million.

The ocean energy sector employs 3,700 people, the report found.

As in previous years, enabling policy frameworks remained a key driver of employment, IRENA said.

National and state auctions in India and Brazil, tax credits in the United States and favourable policies in Asia have all contributed to employment increases.

Countries with the most renewable energy jobs in 2015 included China, Brazil, the United States, India, Japan and Germany.

(Image: IRENA)
(Image: IRENA)

The solar photovoltaic (PV) sector remains the largest renewable energy employer worldwide with 2.8 million.

Liquid biofuels was the second largest global employer with 1.7 million jobs, followed by wind power, which grew 5% to reach 1.1 million global jobs.

Adnan Amin, IRENA’s General Director, 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.”

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization, mandated by governments worldwide, to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.

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