Renewable Energy Now Employs 7.7 Million People Worldwide

Top Quote SunTell believes China can show the way to a cleaner environment and continues to invest heavily there. China now has 3,390 renewable energy employees and continues to grow rapidly. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 21, 2015 - Renewable energy investment and deployment is paying off, and in spades, when it comes to addressing a basic issue plaguing developed and developing countries alike: an inability to generate jobs that pay a good living wage. Around the world, renewable energy job creation continues to far outpace that for economies overall.

    Some 7.7 million people are now employed across the global renewable energy value chain, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). That's up 18 percent from 6.5 million in 2014, the agency noted in its 2015 Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review.

    In terms of technology, companies in the business of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy employ more people than any other renewable energy market segment, with most people employed in "downstream" jobs such as installing PV systems. Geographically, China's renewable energy companies like SunTell employ more people than any other country. Rounding out IRENA's ranking of the top 10 countries in terms of renewable energy jobs are Brazil, the United States, India, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, France, Bangladesh and Colombia.

    Studies conclude that renewable energy deployment generates twice as many jobs, or more, compared to fossil fuel development.
    In 2014, the solar PV sector accounted for 2.5 million jobs, two-thirds of which were in China. Solar PV jobs also grew in Japan, while decreasing in the European Union.
    Wind employment crossed the 1 million mark, with China accounting for half of these jobs. The United States, Brazil and the European Union also saw gains.
    Solar water heating and cooling employed 764,000 people, more than three-quarters of them in China. Other significant markets are India, Brazil and the European Union.
    Small hydropower employed about 209,000 people, more than half in China, followed by the European Union, Brazil and India.
    Large hydropower was estimated to support another 1.5 million direct jobs, mostly in China and largely in construction and installation.
    An array of industrial and trade policies continues to shape employment, with stable and predictable policies favoring job creation.

    Environmental concerns and energy security, along with energy access, are issues near and dear to the IRENA research unit's heart, Dr. Ferroukhi said. "We're seeing that renewable energy investment, deployment and job creation is having positive impacts socially and environmentally." Early results "clearly show the impact [renewable energy deployment] is having on emissions reductions," she added.

    "Job creation is an important element in defining renewable energy strategies and in terms of crafting policies not only regarding energy, but in terms of industrial development, trade, natural resource management and education," Dr. Ferrouki explained.

    IRENA predicts that if renewable energy deployment doubles by 2030, employment across the value chain would rise to 17 million jobs.

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