Green Energy Jobs Rapidly Expanding

Renewable Energy Market

(Credit: Canva)

by | Jan 4, 2023

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Renewable Energy Market

(Credit: Canva)

Global renewable energy jobs reached 12.7 million in 2021, a trend that is expected to continue over the next decade and beyond. Despite widespread concern about the loss of fossil-fuel jobs, the good news is that as the world transitions to renewables, opportunities in green energy are growing exponentially.

According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the ILO’s Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2022, the number of renewable energy jobs increased by around 700,000 globally between 2020 and 2021. With 4.3 million jobs or almost a third of all jobs in the renewable energy sector, solar power is now the source of the majority of jobs. 42 percent of all jobs related to renewable energy are currently located in China, with 10 percent each in the EU and Brazil, 7 percent in the USA, and 7 percent in India.

Following solar, hydropower has the highest proportion of renewable energy jobs with 2.4 million, followed by biofuels with 2.4 million and wind power with 1.3 million. Based on current data, the number of renewable jobs is expected to reach 38.2 million by 2030.

Construction, installation, and operations and maintenance (O&M) accounted for a sizable proportion of renewable energy jobs. With the expansion of large-scale solar and wind farms, as well as other green energy operations, the need for key infrastructure construction and maintenance is evident.

IRENA’s Director-General, Francesco La Camera, stated “In the face of numerous challenges, renewable energy jobs remain resilient, and have been proven to be a reliable job creation engine. My advice to governments around the world is to pursue industrial policies that encourage the expansion of decent renewable jobs at home. Spurring a domestic value chain will not only create business opportunities and new jobs for people and local communities. It also bolsters supply chain reliability and contributes to more energy security overall.”

In the US & Abroad

The United States Energy & Employment Report 2022 revealed that the number of green jobs increased across every energy sector in the United States. Around 3 million of the 7.8 million energy jobs in the United States were related to the country’s climate goals. In 2021, renewable jobs accounted for roughly 40% of all energy jobs. The hybrid electric vehicle sector added 23,577 jobs, while the energy efficiency sector, which includes green technologies for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, added 17,740 jobs.

Jobs in the renewable energy sector are also expanding in the U.K. at a rate four times faster than the rest of the labor force. According to recent figures, “green” jobs make up 2.2 percent of all new jobs in the United Kingdom. Additionally, PWC reports that there were 336,000 green jobs advertised in 2021, a threefold increase from the previous year. However, these jobs are still largely centered around professional and scientific opportunities in the London labor market.

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