The renewable energy industry employed 11 million people worldwide in 2018, an increase from 10.3 million in 2017, according to the latest analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2019, compares with 10.3 million in 2017.
As countries increase the manufacturing, trade and installation of renewable energy technologies, renewables jobs have grown to their highest level despite slower growth in key renewable energy markets including China.
Despite the concentration of renewable energy industries in China, the United States and the European Union, countries in East and Southeast Asian have emerged as key exporters of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were responsible for a greater share of growth in renewables jobs last year, which allowed Asia to maintain a 60 per cent share of renewable energy jobs worldwide.
“Beyond climate goals, governments are prioritising renewables as a driver of low-carbon economic growth in recognition of the numerous employment opportunities created by the transition to renewables,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA. “Renewables deliver on all main pillars of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social. As the global energy transformation gains momentum, this employment dimension reinforces the social aspect of sustainable development and provides yet another reason for countries to commit to renewables.”
Solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind remain the most dynamic of all renewable energy industries. Accounting for one-third of the total renewable energy workflow, solar PV retains the top spot in 2018, ahead of liquid biofuels, hydropower, and wind power.