Renewables account for 11.5 million jobs worldwide, says IRENA

The renewable energy industry accounted for an estimated 11.5 million jobs worldwide in 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), up from 11 million in 2018.

IRENA’s Renewable Energy and Jobs 2020 report said the development of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies represents a large portion of renewables employment. Asia accounted for 63% of total jobs in renewables globally.

Bioenergy accounted for 3.58 million jobs in the renewables industry in 2019, up from 3.18 in 2018. The solid biomass sector accounted for 764,000 jobs and biogas 342,000.

The bioenergy sector is the largest renewables employer in the European Union. Solid biomass (heat and electricity) leads with approximately 392,400 jobs, followed by biofuels (239,000) and biogas (74,900).

Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, said: “Renewable energy, now predominant in new electric power capacity, has proven especially flexible, cost-effective, and resilient in the face of 2020 health and economic crisis.

“Even better, renewables create numerous and diverse jobs. Last year, jobs in the sector reached an estimated 11.5 million, continuing a long-term growth trend.

“If countries now focus on supercharging the energy transition, many more such benefits are attainable. The post-COVID agenda put forward by IRENA would create some 5.5 million transition-related jobs over the next three years, bring renewables jobs to nearly 30 million globally by 2030 and pave the way for longer-term resilience, development, and equality.”

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