Renewable energy jobs hit 12.7 million in 2021 amid green transition efforts

Renewable energy jobs grew about 6 percent in 2021 despite supply chain challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

The renewable energy sector added 12.7 million jobs last year, up from 12 million last year, with solar projects creating the most jobs, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) and the International Labor Organization released on Thursday became.

Renewable energy job creation could rise to 38.2 million in 2030 under an “ambitious energy transition scenario with frontloaded investments,” the report says.

“Faced with numerous challenges, renewable energy jobs remain resilient and have proven to be a reliable engine for job creation,” said Francesco La Camera, General Manager of Irena.

“My advice to governments around the world is to adopt industrial policies that encourage the expansion of decent renewable energy jobs at home. Promoting a domestic value chain will not only create business opportunities and new jobs for people and local communities. It also strengthens the reliability of the supply chain and contributes to greater energy security overall.”

The solar sector accounted for more than a third of the total renewable energy workforce with 4.3 million jobs in 2021, followed by hydropower and biofuels with 2.4 million jobs each, while employment in the wind energy sector last year was 1, Reached 3 million.

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Almost two-thirds of all these jobs were in Asia, with China alone accounting for 42 percent of the global total, followed by the EU and Brazil at 10 percent each, and the US and India at 7 percent each.

The International Energy Agency also highlighted the rise in clean energy recruitment in a report this month. Clean energy accounts for more than half of the 65 million jobs in the energy sector, driven by significant growth in new projects coming online, the Paris-based agency said in a report this month.

Around 257 gigawatts of renewable electricity were installed globally in 2021, expanding cumulative capacity by 9 percent to a total of 3,068 gigawatts, with solar and wind power accounting for 88 percent of the total expansion, with 133 gigawatts and 93 gigawatts growth, respectively, according to the filing.

In contrast, hydropower capacity grew by just 25 gigawatts in 2021, the same rate as in 2020, and bioenergy has grown by 10 gigawatts each in the last two years.

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The report comes as governments around the world focus on developing new renewable energy projects to reduce emissions. A number of countries have announced net-zero targets for the coming decades and are investing heavily in clean energy projects.

The renewable energy industry created 12.7 million jobs last year.  Reuters

Global investment in the renewable energy sector grew 11 percent to $226 billion in the first half of 2022, according to a new report by research firm BloombergNEF earlier this year.

Investments in new solar projects, large and small, rose 33 percent to a record $120 billion, while financing for wind projects rose 16 percent to $84 billion, it said in August.

The Irena and ILO report also states that Southeast Asian countries are becoming major manufacturing hubs for solar photovoltaic and biofuel producers as they launch new projects and expand clean energy capacity.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is the “outstanding manufacturer” and installer of solar PV modules, and also creates a growing number of jobs in offshore wind energy projects. India, Asia’s third-largest economy, also added more than 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity last year, creating many installation jobs, but “remains heavily dependent” on imported modules, the report said.

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Europe accounts for about 40 percent of global wind power production and is the “top” exporter of wind turbines, according to the report. Africa’s role is still limited, but the report points out that there are growing job opportunities in “decentralized renewable energy, particularly to support local trade, agriculture and other economic activities”.

In the Americas, Mexico is the leading supplier of wind turbine blades, while Brazil remains the leading biofuel employer, also adding many wind and solar PV jobs.

The US is beginning to build a domestic industrial base for the burgeoning offshore wind sector, the report said.

“With growing concerns about climate change, the recovery from Covid-19 and supply chain disruption, there is growing national interest in locating supply chains and creating jobs domestically…strong domestic markets are key to anchoring a clean energy industrialization initiative “, the report said.

Updated September 22, 2022 at 3:24 p.m

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