How Many People Work In Renewable Energy Worldwide?

As of 2013, 6.5 million people are employed in the renewable energy industry across the world, and it is steadily expanding.

In 2012, the industry employed 5.7 million people, according to Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014, produced for the second year by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Largest employers by country in descending order: China, Brazil, US, India, Germany, Spain and Bangladesh.

Largest employers by industry sector in descending order: Solar PV (2.3 million jobs), Biofuels (1.4 million), Wind (800,000), Biomass (800,000) and Biogas (300,000).

Jobs Renewable Energy 2013

China has the most solar PV jobs by far since manufacturing has largely shifted there.

"Surging demand for solar PV in China and Japan has increased employment in the installation sector and eased some PV module over-supply concerns," notes Rabia Ferroukhi, lead author and head of IRENA’s Knowledge, Policy and Finance division. "Consequently some Chinese manufacturers are now adding capacity."

The biofuels value chain provides the second largest number of  jobs after solar PV. While the US is the largest biofuels producer, Brazil employs more people. 

Skill shortages are creating bottlenecks for the expansion of renewable energy, with employers in many countries saying it is hard to fill certain categories of jobs, concludes a survey by the International Renewable Energy Alliance (REN Alliance).

Last year, IRENA made available the first world atlas on renewable energy, which maps every country’s potential and where it’s located; the most cost-effective combination of technologies; and whether the market is large enough to create a supply chain.

Here is the report:

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