Renewable Energy Employs 8.1 Million People Worldwide, Up 21% in US Wind & Solar

While employment in fossil fuels is declining, it is rising in renewable energy worldwide.

In renewables, there are about 400,000 more jobs than this time last year – growing 5% to 8.1 million people employed, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In 2014, the industry grew even faster at 18%.

The top countries for renewable energy jobs are the US, China, Japan, Brazil, India and Germany, and solar PV is the biggest employer, employing 2.8 million people in manufacturing, installation and maintenance. Biofuels comes next with 1.7 million jobs, followed by wind power, with 1.1 million global jobs.

If country climate pledges are met, there will be over 24 million jobs by 2030, IRENA projects.

In the US, employment in renewable energy rose 6% over the past year, while dropping 18% in oil and gas. In China, renewable energy employs 3.5 million people compared to 2.6 million in oil and gas.


Findings of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2016:

• Solar PV jobs rose 11% last year, mostly in Japan and the US. Employment is stable in China, and is down in the European Union. In the US, solar jobs grew 22%.

• Wind jobs rose 5%, mostly in the US, China and Germany. Employment in the US rose 21%.

• China leads on renewable energy employment with 3.5 million jobs, since a third of the world’s installations were there in 2015.

• In the EU, Germany employs as many people as the UK, France and Italy combined. Because of the weak economy, jobs in renewables declined for the fourth year in the EU.

Read our article, 70% Renewable Energy Possible By 2030, says World Survey.

Download Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2016

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