Renewable energy employment reaches 12.7 million jobs worldwide in 2021 – SMARTGRIDSINFO

In 2021, global renewable energy employment reached 12.7 million, an increase of 700,000 new jobs year-on-year despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the escalating energy crisis. This is according to a new report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO) during the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh, USA.

The report titled “Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022” identifies market dynamics as the main factors influencing job creation in renewable energy, as well as labor and other costs. Solar energy has proven to be the fastest growing sector. In 2021, it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of today’s global renewable workforce.

Growth engine of employment

With growing concerns about climate change, post-COVID-19 recovery, and supply chain disruption, countries’ interest in localizing supply chains and creating local jobs is growing. The report underscores how strong national markets are essential to anchoring momentum for clean energy industrialization. The development of export capacities for renewable technologies also depends on it, he adds.

Francesco La Camera, CEO of Irena, notes that in the face of many challenges, renewable energy jobs remain resilient and have proven to be a reliable engine of job creation. The Chamber advises governments around the world to pursue industrial policies that encourage the expansion of decent jobs in renewable energy.

Asia accounts for two-thirds of jobs

The report shows that a growing number of countries are creating jobs in renewable energy. Nearly two-thirds of all those jobs are in Asia, according to the new report. China alone accounts for 42% of the global total, followed by the EU and Brazil with 10% each, and the US and India with 7% each.

The document highlights some notable regional and national developments. These include countries in Southeast Asia that are becoming major manufacturing centers for photovoltaic solar panels and producers of biofuels. China is the leading manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar panels and creates a growing number of jobs in offshore wind power. India has added more than 10 GW of photovoltaic solar panels, with many installation works, but remains heavily dependent on imported panels.

For its part, Europe represents around 40% of the world’s wind energy production and is the leading exporter of wind power equipment; is trying to rebuild its photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing industry. Africa’s role is still limited, but the report notes that there are growing employment opportunities in distributed renewable energy, especially to support local trade, agriculture and other activities. economic.

In the Americas, Mexico is the leading supplier of wind turbine blades to the Western Hemisphere. Brazil remains the largest employer in the field of biofuels, but also creates many jobs in wind and solar photovoltaic installations. And the United States is beginning to build a national industrial base for the nascent offshore wind sector.

The report highlights that the continued expansion of renewable energy needs can create many millions of new jobs if supported by comprehensive policy packages, including worker training to ensure decent, high-quality, well-paying and diversified in the search for a just transition.

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