Solar Provides 2.3 Million Jobs Globally

Statistics released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) indicate a steady increase in the number of renewable energy jobs around the world in recent times, with the solar PV sector representing 2.3 million employment opportunities in 2013. IRENA estimates that renewable energy jobs reached 6.5 million in 2013. In decreasing order, the largest employers were China, Brazil, the US, India, Germany, Spain and Bangladesh. Regional shifts from developed to emerging countries continued in wind and solar technologies, predominantly in the manufacturing and installation segments of the value chain. The comprehensive annual review shows steady growth in the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide, which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012.

Recent trends in renewable energy prices and investment have affected job creation across the value chain. For instance, although declining prices of solar PV and wind equipment are introducing new challenges for suppliers and affecting manufacturing jobs, they are also driving employment growth in installation and operations and maintenance. From year to year, these dynamics can generate substantial employment swings.

Solar PV and wind power remain the most dynamic renewable energy technologies. In 2013, the solar PV sector accounted for 2.3 million jobs, largely concentrated in China. The trends show an increase in Chinese installation jobs, while manufacturing jobs remain stable as growing demand is absorbing the oversupply of PV panels.

In general, manufacturing employment has shifted towards Asia as the share of Europe and the US in global module production declined from 43% in 2007 to 14% in 2012. In the same year, China accounted for 64% of global production, Japan for 5%, and other Asian countries (such as Malaysia and South Korea) for 16%. Data collection does not provide employment numbers disaggregated by segments of the supply chain, which are required to quantify the impacts of these global shifts in module production on manufacturing jobs. Surging demand in China and Japan in 2013 has eased some of the oversupply concerns, and some Chinese PV manufacturers are actually adding capacity. Jobs in other segments of the value chain continue to grow, as solar PV deployment expands rapidly.

‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014’ is the second annual jobs report published by IRENA. It is available to download.

Look for the latest solar jobs worldwide HERE 

Recreated from original blog post authored by Nilesh Y. Jadhav at

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