The number of jobs in the field of renewable energies is growing worldwide

This report, entitled “Renewable Energy and Employment: Year in Review 2022”, underlines that the size of the national market is one of the most important factors for the creation of jobs in the renewable energy sector, along with personnel costs, among others. Solar energy is proving to be the fastest growing sector. In 2021, it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global renewable energy workforce.

The new report was released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh, USA.

Resilient jobs

With growing concerns about climate change, the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions, countries are showing increasing interest in decentralizing those supply chains and creating jobs across the country. The report describes the importance of relying on strong national markets to anchor momentum for clean energy industrialization. The development of export capacities for renewable technologies also depends on it, he adds.

“Despite the many challenges, renewable energy jobs remain resilient and have proven to be a reliable engine for job creation,” said Francesco La Camera, Director General of IRENA. “I advise governments around the world to pursue industrial policies that encourage the creation of decent renewable energy jobs in their own countries.”

The report shows that more and more countries are creating jobs in renewable energy, and that nearly two-thirds of all those jobs are in Asia. China alone accounts for 42% of the global total, followed by the EU and Brazil (10% each), then the US and India (7% each).

According to ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, “Beyond the numbers, increasing attention is being paid to the quality of jobs and working conditions in the renewable energy sector to ensure decent and productive employment”. “The growing proportion of women in the workforce suggests that targeted policies and training can significantly improve women’s participation in renewable energy professions, as well as inclusion and ultimately achieving a just transition for all,” he added.



IMF/Lisa Marie David

Workers clean solar panels in Manila, Philippines.

Developments at regional level

The report highlights a number of important developments at regional and national levels. The countries of Southeast Asia are thus becoming important centers of photovoltaic production and important producers of biofuels. China is the top producer and installer of photovoltaic solar panels, creating a growing number of jobs in offshore wind energy. India has added more than 10 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic power, which has created many installation jobs, but the country remains heavily dependent on imported panels.

Europe, which now accounts for around 40% of global wind power generation and is the largest exporter of wind turbines, is trying to rebuild its photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing industry. Africa’s role is still limited, but the report highlights that there are growing job opportunities in decentralized renewable energy, particularly to support local trade and agriculture, among other economic activities.

On the American continent, Mexico is the leading supplier of rotor blades for wind turbines. Brazil, which remains the largest employer in the biofuels sector, also creates many jobs in wind and photovoltaic systems. The United States of America is beginning to build nationwide industrial infrastructure for its burgeoning offshore wind sector.

As part of a just transition, the report insists that renewable energy expansion must be supported by comprehensive policies, including the training of workers, to ensure decent, quality, well-paid and diverse jobs.

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