With countries around the world gradually moving towards clean energy in sync with their goals under the Paris Agreement on climate change, jobs in the renewable energy sector globally crossed 10 million in 2017. All countries together had created more than half a million new jobs in the sector last year, a 5.3% increase from 2016.
Although 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 been consistently on the clean energy route with more than 70% of jobs worldwide in the renewable sector.
The findings are part of the report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), a global intergovernmental organization, which on Tuesday released its annual report on jobs in the renewable energy sector in Abu Dhabi.
Figures show that the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry remains the largest employer of all renewable energy technologies, accounting for about 3.4 million jobs worldwide, including 2.2 million jobs. in China and 1.64,000 jobs in India.
Biofuels, hydropower (both small and large) and wind are the other three segments in the renewable energy sector that employ the maximum number of people worldwide. With China and India rapidly moving towards solar and wind power, 60% of all renewable energy jobs are done in Asia.
"The data also underscores an increasingly regionalized picture, highlighting that in countries where attractive policies exist, the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy are more apparent," said Adnan Z Amin, CEO of IRENA while underlining how carbonization of the global energy system can create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.
The figures show that despite a slight drop in Japan and the United States, the two countries followed China as the largest markets for solar PV employment in the world. India and Bangladesh round out a top 5 representing around 90% of solar PV jobs.
India has set a goal of installing 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. This includes 100 GW of solar energy, 60 GW of wind energy, 10 GW of biomass and 5 GW of small hydropower. India's cumulative solar installations are 19.6 GW in December 2017. Last year, the country had added a record 9.6 GW of solar power, more than 10% of what all countries together installed (94GW) in 2017.
According to Mercom Communications India, Karnataka and Telangana installed the largest amounts of utility-scale solar capacity, adding approximately 2.1 GW each, in 2017. Together, they accounted for approximately 50% of the total capacity added in India last year. . Andhra Pradesh ranked third with 1,225 MW of solar installation.
The Mercom report found that, in terms of accumulated installations, Telangana became the first Indian state to surpass the 3 GW mark in 2017.
However, the growth of solar power installation in India is being driven mainly by imported modules. IRENA's annual review noted that the manufacture of solar photovoltaic modules is limited in the country, given the availability of low-cost imports, mainly from China.
“The market share of national companies decreased from 13% in 2014-15 to 7% in 2017-18. As of September 2017, the average price of imported modules was USD 0.39 per Watt compared to USD 1.44 per Watt for domestic products and a large part of the existing manufacturing capacity remains idle, ”said IRENA's review report. .
When it comes to jobs in the wind industry, the report noted that jobs in this segment contracted slightly last year to 1.15 million worldwide. "While wind jobs are found in a relatively small number of countries, the degree of concentration is less than in the solar photovoltaic sector," he said.
According to the report, China accounts for 44% of global wind employment, followed by Europe and North America with 30 and 10%, respectively. Half of the top ten countries with the largest installed wind power capacity in the world are European.
Original article (in English)