In a recent report titled “Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2023,” jointly conducted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), it has been revealed that global employment in renewable energy soared to 13.7 million in 2022, marking a significant rise of one million jobs from the previous year. This trajectory demonstrates substantial growth from the 7.3 million total employment recorded in 2012.
The study underscores the escalating investments in renewable energy, fostering employment opportunities in an expanding array of nations. However, as seen in previous years, a disproportionate concentration of these jobs exists in a handful of countries, with China claiming the lion’s share at 41 percent of the worldwide total.
Other major contributors to the sector’s workforce include Brazil, European Union (EU) countries, India, and the United States of America. These nations collectively represent a majority of global capacity installations and play pivotal roles in equipment manufacturing, engineering, and related services.
Solar photovoltaics (PV) emerged as the predominant employer in 2022, with a workforce of 4.9 million jobs, constituting more than a third of the renewable energy sector’s total workforce. Hydropower and biofuels maintained similar employment levels to the previous year, each sustaining around 2.5 million jobs. Wind power followed closely with 1.4 million jobs.
Francesco La Camera, IRENA Director-General, lauded the remarkable performance of renewable energy jobs in 2022, emphasizing the imperative for an accelerated pace of investments in energy transition technologies to generate millions more jobs. The G20 leaders’ recent commitment to tripling global renewables capacity by 2030, in line with IRENA’s recommendations ahead of COP28, provides an opportune moment for policymakers to institute ambitious policies propelling necessary systemic change.
ILO Director-General, Gilbert F. Houngbo, stressed the importance of leveraging the substantial employment opportunities presented by these transitions. He highlighted the necessity of tailored policies to ensure inclusive macroeconomic growth, sustainable enterprises, skills development, active labor market interventions, social protection, occupational safety and health, and other fundamental work-related rights through constructive social dialogue.