How Many Jobs Does Renewable & Clean Energy Create? (Worldwide, By Country, & By Energy Source)

How Many Jobs Does Renewable & Clean Energy Create? (Worldwide, By Country, & By Energy Source)

In this guide, we looks at how many jobs renewable energy helps create directly and indirectly worldwide, by country and by energy source.

We also look at future projections for renewable energy job growth and potential.

 

Summary – How Many Jobs Does Renewable & Clean Energy Create?

  • Worldwide in 2017 10.34 million people were employed directly and indirectly in renewable energy
  • Solar photovoltaic was the biggest employer, followed by bioenergy, large hydropower and then wind energy
  • Solar PV and biofuels saw an increased job growth from 2016 to 2017, whilst wind energy and solar heating and cooling saw declines
  • China is the world’s biggest employer in the renewable energy industry, with Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan also having a large majority of worldwide jobs on offer
  • Renewable energy sources like solar PV already offer more jobs than fossil fuel like coal in several countries
  • Renewable energy tends to provide more jobs per dollar invested, and is more labor intensive than fossil fuels (which tends to be more capital intensive) (cleantechnica.com)
  • With increased investment in renewable energy, it only looks like the total number of jobs offered by the industry will continue to grow into the future in countries who continue to invest

*Note – it’s important to note the difference between direct and indirect, and full time and part time jobs. It’s also important to look at how the number of jobs provided by each energy source, comparative to the installed capacity, production and consumption of each energy source.

 

How Many Jobs Renewable Energy Creates Worldwide

  • [There were 10.3 million jobs in 2017 in renewable energy worldwide]

– irena.org

 

2016 renewable energy employment numbers by energy source can be seen at https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26052017/infographic-renewable-energy-jobs-worldwide-solar-wind-trump

 

How Quickly Are Renewable Energy Jobs Growing Worldwide?

  • [From 2012 to 2017, there has been a 1.5 times job growth in renewables]
  • [In 2017 alone, there was a 5.3% growth in renewable energy job growth for the year compared to the previous year … the renewable industry created more than 500 000 new jobs globally in 2017]
  • [Solar PV grew 9% from 2016 to 2017]
  • [Biofuels employment expanded by 12% from 2016 to 2017]
  • [Other renewables like solar heating and cooling and wind power declined

– irena.org

 

Which Countries Have The Most Jobs In Renewable Energy?

  • [In 2017 … China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan remained the world’s biggest renewable energy employers, representing more than 70% of such jobs]
  • Four-fifths of all renewable energy jobs in 2017 were in Asia
  • Employment remains limited in Africa, but the potential for off-grid jobs is high

– irena.org

 

How Many Jobs Renewable Energy Creates In The US

  • The U.S. trails the European Union in renewable energy jobs, about 806,000 jobs to over 1.2 million [in 2016]

– insideclimatenews.org

2016 US renewable energy employment numbers by energy source can be seen at https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26052017/infographic-renewable-energy-jobs-worldwide-solar-wind-trump

 

  • There’s also regional trends developing – Ten of the 12 states in the US MidWest have more rural clean energy jobs than rural fossil fuel jobs
  • … although, this also includes energy efficiency areas such as building design, energy efficiency upgrades and other aspects of reducing energy use that save people money on energy costs while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet
  • [some States that have more renewable friendly government policy and higher investment may also see greater growth than others]

– insideclimatenews.org

 

How Many Jobs Renewable Energy Creates In China

  • [43% of the 10.3 million jobs in 2017 in renewable energy worldwide were in China]
  • [China has 83% of worldwide solar heating and cooling jobs, 66% of the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector jobs, 44% in wind power]

– irena.org

 

  • [China is] the world leader in clean energy employment by far with nearly 4 million jobs, including hydropower [in 2016]

– insideclimatenews.org

 

How Many Jobs Renewable Energy Creates In Europe

  • The U.S. trails the European Union in renewable energy jobs, about 806,000 jobs to over 1.2 million [in 2016]

– insideclimatenews.org

 

How Many Jobs Does Hydropower Create?

  • [In 2017, large hydropower employed 1.51 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]

– irena.org

 

How Many Jobs Does Bioenergy (Liquid Biofuels, Solid Biomass and Biogas) Create?

  • [In 2017, bioenergy employed 3.06 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]

– irena.org

 

How Many Jobs Does Solar Energy Create?

  • [In 2017, solar PV employed 3.37 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]
  • [In 2017, solar heating and cooling employed 0.81 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]

– irena.org

 

  • Solar PV creates more jobs. It accounts for the bulk of the world’s renewable energy jobs, despite being a minority of renewable energy capacity. Wind, which leads solar in capacity, creates far fewer jobs. Solar PV is very labor-intensive.

– vox.com

 

How Many Jobs Does Wind Energy Create?

  • [In 2017, wind energy employed 1.15 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]

– irena.org

 

How Many Jobs Do Geothermal, Small Hydropower, CSP, Heat Pumps, Waste Energy & Ocean Energy Create?

  • [In 2017, these energy source employed 0.45 million of a total 10.34 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy]

– irena.org

 

How Many Jobs Does Nuclear Energy Create?

  • The U.S. industry directly employs nearly 100,000 people in high-quality, long-term jobs. This number climbs to 475,000 when you include secondary jobs. 

– nei.org

NEI also notes the impact the nuclear industry will have on employment growth in the short term future in the US, and how the closure on nuclear plants in the US in the past has led to less police patrols, higher housing taxes and other social and economic drawbacks.

 

How Many Jobs Will Renewable Energy Help Create In The Future?

  • [renewable energy] generally create more jobs per dollar invested than conventional electricity generation technologies

– cleantechnica.com

 

What we do know is that renewable energy has seen increasing investment over the last decade, and that trend isn’t expected to decline heading towards 2050 where many countries will be aiming to achieve climate agreement targets.

So, the number of jobs in renewable energy in the future can only be expected to increase in total worldwide, or at least in the countries who are investing in the industry. It’s also possible jobs increase in States and regions with more renewable energy friendly policies, and those who invest the most.

 

Take this one prediction in the US in just the wind energy space alone:

  • To achieve 20% wind power by 2030, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the United States will require more than 100,000 additional wind turbines, creating more than 500,000 new jobs
  • … wind has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and supporting services by 2050

– cleantechnica.com

 

Other forecasts:

  • From 2014-2024, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts wind turbine technician as the fastest-growing job in America with 108% growth expected versus 7% for all U.S. occupations and 6% for installation, maintenance, and repair occupations
  • [economic and job growth in renewables in the future could happen in a] few states where the energy jobs are concentrated and more influential, such as in California due to renewables and West Virginia due to coal

– scottmadden.com

 

  • [some studies show we] can move to 100% renewable energy [worldwide] by 2050, while creating jobs along the way
  • [more total jobs will be created in the energy sector with this approach]
  • … metal trades are the only type of job that will experience a reduction – all other energy based jobs will see an increase. The one exception to this is China and India, for example, will both experience a reduction in the number of jobs for managers and clerical and administrative workers between 2015 and 2025.

– theconversation.com

 

Sources

1. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/10/renewable-energy-economic-benefits-know/

2. https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2019/6/18/18681591/renewable-energy-china-solar-pv-jobs

3. https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/renewable-energy/public-benefits-of-renewable-power

4. https://irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2018/May/IRENA_RE_Jobs_Annual_Review_2018.pdf

5. https://www.irena.org/publications/2018/May/Renewable-Energy-and-Jobs-Annual-Review-2018

6. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/countries-that-invest-the-most-in-renewable-energy-what-they-invest-in/

7. https://www.nei.org/advantages/jobs

8. https://www.bettermeetsreality.com/installed-capacity-production-consumption-of-renewable-energy-worldwide-by-country-by-source/

9. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26052017/infographic-renewable-energy-jobs-worldwide-solar-wind-trump

10. https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07122018/rural-jobs-clean-energy-wind-power-energy-efficiency-renewable-vs-fossil-fuels-climate-change

11. https://www.scottmadden.com/insight/fossil-50-energy-industry-jobs-yet-renewables-drive-future/

12. https://theconversation.com/heres-how-a-100-renewable-energy-future-can-create-jobs-and-even-save-the-gas-industry-110285

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