China dominates renewables employment
While a growing number of countries derive socio-economic benefits from renewable energy, employment remains highly concentrated in a handful of them, with China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan leading the way.
In fact, China accounts for more than two-fifths of all renewable energy jobs, with the country’s share particularly high in solar heating and cooling (83%) and in the sola photovoltaic sector (66%), though less so in wind power, according to the Renewable Energy & Jobs report from Irena.
Biofuels employment spiked 12% in 2017, as the production of ethanol and biodiesel expanded in most of the major producing markets. However, employment in wind power and in solar heating and cooling declined as the pace of new capacity additions slowed.
Large hydropower employed 1.5m people, with the key job markets being China, India and Brazil, followed by the Russian Federation, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Viet Nam.
“Employment remains limited in Africa, but the potential for off-grid jobs is high, particularly as energy access improves and domestic supply chain capacities are developed,” says Irena.