International Renewable Energy And Alternative Fuels Job Market Figures
Thursday 17th May 2018
Last week, the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) published its annual report on employment figures in the renewable energy and alternative fuel sector. Data from countries around the world showed that 10.3 million people worked in the renewable energy sector, more than half a million more than in 2016 (+ 5.3%) according to the latest estimates.
Even though there was not an equal distribution across continents, with the six largest renewable energy countries (China, Brazil, USA, India, Germany and Japan) accounting for more than 70% of the global total, "A growing number of countries are reaping the socio-economic benefits of renewable energies..", acknowledges Adnan Z. Amin, the agency's managing director.
In particular, China accounts for 43% of renewable energy employment on the global market, and in particular for two thirds of jobs in the photovoltaic sector. This is an interesting statistic as China's energy mix still relies heavily on coal (60%), employing nearly 4 million people in mining fossil-based fuels (despite a fall in nearly a million jobs in this sector last year).
The United Kingdom ranks second in Europe for its number of renewable energy jobs. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) last annual report (published in July 2017) put total employment at 118 200 jobs for 2015/16.
Nearly 32.5% of these jobs were related to solar photovoltaic (3.37 million, at increase of 8.7%), making it the main renewable sector on this criterion, ahead of biomass (including biofuels, 3.06 million, at an increase of 11.7%) and hydropower (1.54 million, which remained at an almost stable level).
In regards to Offshore Wind Power, European countries added a record 3.1 GW of new wind capacity during 2017, double the pace of 2016. The United Kingdom and Germany are the global leaders in offshore wind.
Irena believes that the source of jobs in renewable energies is still very important. "The decarbonisation of the global energy system could create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050," concludes Mr Amin.
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