In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide, up from 5.7 million in 2012, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
“With 6.5 million people directly or indirectly employed in renewable energy, the sector is proving that it is no longer a niche, it has become a significant employer worldwide,” says Adnan Z. Amin, director-general at IRENA.
The largest employers by country are China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany, Spain, and Bangladesh, while the largest employers by sector are solar photovoltaic, biofuels, wind, modern biomass, and biogas.
In the wind industry, China and Canada provided positive impulses while the outlook for the United States remains somewhat mixed because of political uncertainty, according to IRENA. The offshore wind industry is still concentrated in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom and Germany.
The biofuels value chain provides the second largest number of renewable energy jobs after solar PV. The United States remains the largest biofuels producer, while Brazil remains the largest employer.
Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014 is the second such report published by IRENA.