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Renewable Energy creates jobs – employment growing 18% over 2014

IRENA: “Employment in the renewable energy industry increased by more than one million jobs in the last year” – Geothermal: 154.000 jobs

As previous years,  the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released its annual report and it seems that renewables are not only good for the environment and the economy but also for job creation. The global geothermal energy industry today employs around 154,000 people with a growth of 7,300 over the past 12-months period. About 35,000 people are employed in the United States representing the largest number worldwide. Numbers presented for the European Union include those people working in the heat pump business as well.

The following corresponds to IRENA’s official press release.

More than 7.7 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, according to a new report released IRENA. This is an 18 per cent increase from last year’s figure of 6.5 million. The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015, also provides a first-ever global estimate of the number of jobs supported by large hydropower, with a conservative estimate of an additional 1.5 million direct jobs worldwide.

“Renewable energy continues to assert itself as a major global employer, generating strong economic and social benefits worldwide,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “This increase is being driven, in part, by declining renewable energy technology costs, which creates more jobs in installation, operations and maintenance. We expect this upward trend to continue as the business case for renewable energy continues to strengthen.”

As in previous years, renewable energy employment is shaped by regional shifts, industry realignments, growing competition and advances in technologies and manufacturing processes. Jobs in the renewable energy sector are increasingly being created in Asia, with five of the 10 countries with the most renewable energy jobs now located in the region (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Bangladesh). As a result, even with continued jobs growth, the European Union and the United States now represent 25 per cent of global renewable energy jobs, compared to 31 per cent in 2012.

The 10 countries with the largest renewable energy employment figures are China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, France, Bangladesh and Colombia. The solar PV industry is the largest renewable energy employer worldwide with 2.5 million jobs, followed by liquid biofuels with 1.8 million jobs, and wind power, which surpassed one million jobs for the first time this year. The employment increase spreads across the renewable energy spectrum with solar, wind, biofuels, biomass, biogas and small hydropower all seeing increases in employment.

“If we continue to invest in renewable energy and its multiple economic, environmental and social benefits, employment in renewables will continue to climb,” said Mr. Amin. “IRENA’s research estimates that doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030, would result in more than 16 million jobs worldwide.”

Select report findings:

Download audio/video soundbites with IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin

Download the full Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2015

Source: Press Release by IRENA 

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