Francesco La Camera, Managing Director of Irena, says jobs in renewable energy remain resilient and have proven to be a reliable engine of job creation
China is the main manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar panels and creates a growing number of jobs in offshore wind. — File photo
Global employment in renewable energy reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in one year, despite the lingering effects of Covid-19 and the growing energy crisis, according to the report “Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2022”.
The report identifies the size of the domestic market as a major factor influencing job creation in renewable energy, as well as labor and other costs. Solar energy has proven to be the fastest growing sector. In 2021, it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global renewable energy workforce.
The new report was released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO), during the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh, USA.
With growing concerns about climate change, the Covid-19 recovery and supply chain disruption, national interest is growing in localizing supply chains and creating jobs at home. The report describes how strong national markets are essential to anchoring momentum for clean energy industrialization. The development of export capacities for renewable technologies also depends on it, he adds.
Francesco La Camera, Managing Director of Irena, said renewable energy jobs remain resilient and have proven to be a reliable engine of job creation.
“My advice to governments around the world is to pursue industrial policies that encourage the expansion of decent renewable energy jobs at home. Boosting a national value chain will not only create business opportunities and new jobs for people and local communities. It will also strengthen the reliability of the supply chain. It contributes to greater overall energy security.
The report shows that a growing number of countries are creating jobs in renewable energy. Nearly two-thirds of all these jobs are in Asia. China alone accounts for 42% of the global total, followed by the EU and Brazil with 10% each, and the US and India with 7% each.
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said there is increasing focus on job quality and working conditions in renewable energy, to ensure decent and productive employment.
“The growing share of female employment suggests that dedicated policies and training can significantly improve women’s participation in renewable energy professions, inclusion and ultimately achieve a just transition for all. I encourage governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations to remain firmly committed to a sustainable energy transition, essential for the future of work.
The report highlights some notable regional and national developments. These include countries in Southeast Asia that are becoming major manufacturing centers for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and producers of biofuels. China is the main manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar panels and creates a growing number of jobs in offshore wind. India has added more than 10 gigawatts of photovoltaic solar panels, generating many installation jobs, but remains heavily dependent on imported panels.
Europe now accounts for approximately 40% of global wind power generation and is the largest exporter of wind power equipment; it is trying to rebuild its photovoltaic solar panel manufacturing industry. Africa’s role is still limited, but the report highlights that there are growing employment opportunities in distributed renewable energy, especially to support local trade, agriculture and other activities. economic.
On the American continent, Mexico is the leading supplier of wind turbine blades. Brazil remains the largest employer in the field of biofuels, but also creates many jobs in wind and solar photovoltaic installations. The United States is beginning to build a domestic industrial base for the booming offshore wind sector.
The report also stresses that the expansion of renewable energy must be supported by holistic sets of policies, including worker training to ensure decent, high-quality, well-paid and diverse jobs in pursuit of a just transition. —Wam