According to the latest “Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2023” jointly released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the global workforce in the renewable energy sector reached a staggering 13.7 million jobs in 2022. This marks a significant increase of one million jobs since the previous year and a substantial rise from the 7.3 million jobs recorded in 2012.
The report underscores that renewable energy is increasingly attracting investments, leading to job creation in numerous countries. However, it highlights that the majority of these jobs remain concentrated in a select few nations, with China accounting for 41 percent of the global total. Other key contributors to the renewable energy job market include Brazil, European Union (EU) countries, India, and the United States of America (USA), all of which play pivotal roles in capacity installations, equipment manufacturing, engineering, and related services.
Solar photovoltaics (PV) retained its status as the leading employer in the renewable energy sector, boasting 4.9 million jobs, representing over one-third of the total workforce. Hydropower and biofuels also maintained similar employment numbers from the previous year, each providing approximately 2.5 million jobs, followed by wind power with 1.4 million jobs.
Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA, emphasized the need for accelerated investments in energy transition technologies to create millions more jobs and urged policymakers to seize the momentum to adopt ambitious policies.
Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director-General of ILO, stressed the importance of specific policies for inclusive growth, skills development, social protection, and rights at work during these complex transitions.
The report also highlights the significance of the quality of jobs, advocating for a just and inclusive energy transition with a focus on wages, safety, rights at work, and social dialogue. It calls for expanded education and training, increased career opportunities for marginalized groups, and greater gender equity within the sector. Many countries are exploring localized supply chains and job creation while pursuing global cooperation for an ambitious energy transition.