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According To New Report, 9.8 Million People Employed By Renewable Energy

According To New Report, 9.8 Million People Employed By Renewable Energy
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Wednesday that nearly 10 million people were employed in the renewable energy sector last year.
Excluding large hydropower, global renewable energy employment in 2016 hit 8.3 million, states IRENA's report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017.  The report also states that figure climbs to 9.8 million if direct employment in large hydropower is included.
"Falling costs and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy worldwide since IRENA's first annual assessment in 2012, when just over seven million people were working in the sector," Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA's director-general, said in a statement.

"In the last four years, for instance, the number of jobs in the solar and wind sectors combined has more than doubled," Amin added.
Accounting for 3.1 million jobs, up 12 percent compared to 2015, solar photovoltaic was the biggest employer last year, the report showed. While biofuels were responsible for 1.7 million jobs, the wind sector represented 1.2 million jobs.
There was significant potential for jobs in the renewable energy sector, Amin went on to state. "As the scales continue to tip in favor of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world," Amin said.
Of the total number of new jobs globally, 62 percent of jobs were to be found in Asia, IRENA said. Noting an increase of 3.4 percent, 3.64 million people were working in renewables last year in China alone.
IRENA said that although off-grid solutions were also playing a key role, Africa was another area where utility scale developments had made "great strides".
"In some African countries, with the right resources and infrastructure, we are seeing jobs emerge in manufacturing and installation for utility-scale projects," Rabia Ferroukhi, head of IRENA's Policy Unit and deputy director of Knowledge, Policy and Finance, said.
"For much of the continent however, distributed renewables, like off-grid solar, are bringing energy access and economic development," Ferroukhi added. "These off-grid mini-grid solutions are giving communities the chance to leap-frog traditional electricity infrastructure development and create new jobs in the process."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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