Eleven million people around the world were employed by the renewable energy sector in 2018, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports in the sixth edition of their Renewable Energy and Jobs series.
This represents an increase of 700,000 jobs from 2017, growing nearly 7% in just one year. The greatest growth came from countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, spreading the renewable sector beyond the primary markets in China, Brazil, the U.S., India and the EU while maintaining Asia’s 60% stake in renewable employment globally.
The trend should inspire confidence in renewables by other countries as technologies improve and costs go down. “The prospect of job creation bolsters the global Sustainable Development Agenda,” says IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera, “and should encourage all countries to make bold commitments to renewable energy. “Increasingly, countries envisage a domestic renewable energy industry taking the place of unsustainable fossil-based industries.”
The trend ticks several boxes, representing growing success in merging different imperatives. “Renewables deliver on all main pillars of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social,” says La Camera. “As the global energy transformation gains momentum, this employment dimension reinforces the social aspect of sustainable development …”