Employment in renewable energy reaches 11,5 million worldwide in 2019

Graph jobs according to irena

Renewable energies continue to bring socio-economic benefits by creating numerous jobs around the world. The sector reached 11,5 million jobs globally in 2019, around 500.000 more than the previous year.

These are the figures published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in the seventh edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review.

Bioenergy experiences the highest year-on-year growth

While the solar energy sector - solar photovoltaic, solar thermal and refrigeration and concentrated solar energy (CSP) - continues to lead with just over 4,6 million jobs, the bioenergy sector (liquid biofuels, solid biomass , biogas and urban and industrial waste) occupies a good second place with just over 3,62 million jobs.

The bioenergy sector experienced the largest increase, 12% during 2019 which translates into 395.000 jobs compared to 2018, while the solar sector experienced an increase of 4% which is 168.000 jobs compared to 2018.

More inclusive and better gender balance

Renewable energy jobs have shown greater inclusion and a better gender balance than fossil fuels. The report highlights that women held 32% of all jobs in renewable energy, compared to 21% in the fossil fuel sectors.

To build the skills base for the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, countries will need more vocational training, stronger curricula, more teacher training, and a wider use of information and communication technology for the distance learning. The COVID-19 pandemic, says IRENA, has underscored the need for renewable energy to meet social, economic and environmental needs.

Future employment expectations

The Post-COVID Recovery Agenda recently released by IRENA indicates that a major stimulus program could create up to 5,5 million new jobs in the next three years. Something that would allow the world to follow the path of creating the 42 million jobs in renewable energy that Global Renewables Outlook projects for 2050.