Solar industry drives renewable energy job growth worldwide

Wind and solar may account for about half of Germany’s generation capacity by 2020, from 37 percent in 2013, according to data from Bryan, Garnier & Co. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

Renewable energy employs nearly 10 million people worldwide, far above levels in 2012, when the International Renewable Energy Agency did its first jobs survey.

The number of jobs in the solar and wind industries have particularly driven the international spike in renewable energy work — in the last four years, jobs in those two industries alone have grown nearly 40 percent to 9.8 million from 7.1 million,  according to the agency’s latest report, released Wednesday.

Photovoltaic solar technology is the world’s largest renewable energy employer, with around 3.1 million jobs in 2016, most of which are in China, the U.S. and India.  China, Brazil, the U.S. and India lead the world with the most jobs in the renewable energy sector.

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The International Renewable Energy Agency, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, analyzes the renewable energy sector and published an annual review on job growth.

“As the scales continue to tip in favor of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world,” said Adnan Amin, the agency’s director-general.

 

 
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