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IRENA estimates global geothermal energy workforce of around 100,000

IRENA - Renewable Energy Employment by sector 2017 (Source: IRENA, 2018)
Alexander Richter 11 May 2018

In its annual report on employment in the global renewable energy sector, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimates a global employment of around 10.3 million, with about 100,000 estimated to be employed in the global geothermal sector.

The renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 new jobs globally in 2017, a 5.3 per cent increase from 2016, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). According to the fifth edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched at IRENA’s 15th Council in Abu Dhabi today, the total number of people employed in the sector (including large hydropower) now stands at 10.3 million globally, surpassing the 10 million figure for the first time.

China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remain the world’s largest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70 per cent of all industry jobs globally. Although growing numbers of countries are reaping the socio-economic benefits of renewables, the bulk of manufacturing takes place in relatively few countries and domestic markets vary enormously in size. Sixty per cent of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia.

“Renewable energy has become a pillar of low-carbon economic growth for governments all over the world, a fact reflected by the growing number of jobs created in the sector.” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency.

“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalised picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” continued Mr. Amin. “Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonisation of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”

The geothermal sector is estimated to employ around 93,000 people at the end of 2017 with a large majority thereof in the geothermal heat pump business.

Geographically, IRENA estimates that about 35,000 are employed in the United States, 25,000 in the European Union, 6,500 in Germany, 2,000 in Japan and about 1,500 in China.

With the direct and indirect employment opportunities presented by geothermal energy, we though consider that the number should be higher. At least the local employment created around the geothermal plants around the world should push this number exponentially.

Full 2018 report (pdf)

Source: IRENA