Renewable energy is positive for the economy, employment in the sector keeps on raising

Renewable energies do good not only to the environment but also to global economy, as it boosts employment. The most relevant data emerged from the annual report of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is the number of people employed by the renewable sector: 11 million people worldwide, 60% of whom in Asia.

The report highlights that renewable energy is slowly spreading to countries where it is not so deep-rooted, unlike the EU, China and the US. Export of Chinese photovoltaic panels has also been supported by other countries in Southeast Asia and, at the same time, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand have seen a significant increase in the number of workers employed in the sector.

Photovoltaics counts the highest number of employees, over 3.6 million in the world. Employment has grown particularly in countries such as India, Brazil and in South-East Asia in general; instead, it has fallen in China, the US, Japan and the EU.

Concerning the other renewable energies, employment is distributed as follows:

  • Biofuels and hydroelectric power, around two million people employed;
  • Wind power (especially onshore is higher employment density), 1.2 million employees;
  • Solar thermal energy, 800 thousand occupied;
  • Solid biomass energy, a sector employing 787,000 people.


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