According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), approximately 8.1 million people are working in the renewable energy sector around the world. Out of the total number, 2.8 million work in the solar industry, which is more than any other renewable energy field.
The report also showed that renewable energy jobs are growing, specifically a 5% increase worldwide in 2015. The solar industry witnessed a 300,000 increase in 2015 compared to last year’s count. The types of jobs include manufacturing, installation, operations and maintenance.
“This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks,” said IRENA director-general Adnan Amin. “We expect this trend to continue as the business case for renewables strengthens and as countries move to achieve their climate targets agreed in Paris.”
What’s impressive about these numbers is that the overall energy industry suffered a significant fall last year. For example, oil and gas jobs in the United States decreased by 18%.
In China, more people were employed by renewable energy (3.5 million) compared to oil and gas (2.6 million). They are also the worldwide leader in overall renewable energy jobs. Other leaders include Brazil, India, Japan and Germany. In Africa, more employment opportunities in the renewable energy sector are growing in Egypt, Morocco, Kenya and South Africa. Another interesting fact is that these jobs support more women than their oil and gas counterparts.
Lastly, the report stated that renewable energy can save the world trillions of dollars by 2030.