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The number of people working in the renewable energy industry globally could rise to 24 million by 2030, compared to 9.8 million in 2016, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Wednesday in its annual review 2017.
“As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said in the agency’s press release.
Commenting on the past five years, Amin noted:
“Falling costs and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy worldwide since IRENA’s first annual assessment in 2012, when just over seven million people were working in the sector.”
The number of jobs in the solar and wind power generation sectors combined has more than doubled over the past four years, Amin said.
The agency’s report found that 62 percent of all renewable energy jobs are based in Asia, as installation and manufacturing continues to shift to the region.
The individual countries accounting for most of the clean energy jobs last year were China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Japan, and Germany.
Among the clean energy sectors, solar photovoltaic (PV) was the biggest employer last year, giving jobs to 3.1 million people, a 12-percent increase over 2015, mostly in China, the United States, and India.
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In the U.S., solar industry employment grew 17 times faster than the economy, with the number of jobs jumping 24.5 percent annually to more than 260,000 last year.
At the end of March, IRENA said that renewable energy generation capacity worldwide rose by 161 gigawatts last year—the strongest year ever for new capacity additions, with solar leading the growth.
The U.S. solar industry posted its best year on record in 2016, smashing previous records by installing 14.6 gigawatts of new solar, a 95-percent surge from the 7.4 GW installed in 2015, the previous record year.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and…