Good news has come in for both renewables and the economy, as the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector continues to rise on the back of a strong growth in Asia.
According to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the clean energy industry added more than 500,000 jobs in 2017, to reach a total of 10.3 million worldwide.
The solar PV industry has remained the largest employer among all renewable energy technologies, providing 3.4 million jobs, up almost 9% from 2016, following a record 94 GW of installations in 2017.
Geographically, 65% of all solar PV jobs are located in China, which is equivalent to 2.2 million and represents an expansion of 13% over the previous year.
Despite a slight drop, Japan and the U.S. came in second and third among the largest markets for solar PV employment in the world, followed by India and Bangladesh. Currently, the top five account for around 90% of global solar PV jobs.
Overall, China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Germany and Japan remained the world’s biggest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70% of all industry jobs globally.
While the number of countries that enjoy the socio-economic benefit of renewables is on the rise, there are relatively few countries where manufacturing activities take place.
Namely, 60% of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia, finds the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi.
“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalized picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” said Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director General.
“Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonization of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”