NEW DELHI: With the countries across the globe gradually switching to clean energy in sync with their commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change, jobs in the renewable energy sector globally crossed the 10 million mark in 2017. All the countries together had created over halfa-million new jobs in the sector last year—a 5.3% increase from 2016.
Though most countries are making efforts to move towards a low-carbon economy, six of them - China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany and Japan - have created the lion’s share of jobs globally in the renewable energy sector at over 70%.
The findings are part of the report of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) - a global inter-governmental organisation - which on Tuesday released its annual review on jobs in renewable energy (RE) sector in Abu Dhabi.
The figures show that the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry remains the largest employer of all RE technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs worldwide including 2.2 million jobs in China and 1,64,000 jobs in India.
Biofuels, hydro-power (both small and large) and wind are the other three segments in the RE sector which employ maximum number of people across the globe. With China and India moving fast towards solar and wind, 60% of all renewable energy jobs are in Asia.
“The data also underscores an increasingly regionalised picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are most evident,” said Adnan Z Amin, director-general of the IRENA while underlining how de-carbonisation of the global energy system can create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.
The figures show that despite a slight dip in Japan and the US, the two countries followed China as the largest markets for solar PV employment in the world. India and Bangladesh complete a top five that accounts for around 90% of global solar PV jobs.
India has set a target of installing 175 GW of renewable power by 2022. This includes 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydro power. India’s cumulative solar installations stand at 19.6 GW as on December, 2017. The country had added record 9.6 GW of solar power last year.