With the development of RES, the number of jobs increases every year. Several factors shape how and where employment is generated along the renewable energy supply chain. These include governmental policies; the diversification of supply chains; trade patterns; and industry reorganization and consolidation trends. Aside from these factors, which are discussed below, labour productivity grows in importance over time.
IRENA estimates that global solar PV employment stood at 3.6 million jobs in 2018. China accounted for about two-thirds of PV employment worldwide, or 2.2 million jobs.
Worldwide employment in biofuels is estimated at 2 million, with 832 000 jobs, Brazil has the world’s largest liquid biofuel workforce.
India’s labour-intensive hydropower sector is the largest employer, accounting for 17% of the total, followed by China – 15%.
Together, onshore and offshore wind employs 1.16 million people worldwide. China accounts for 44% of the global total.
Solar heating and cooling – 711 000 jobs, 88% of the world total employs Asia. According to Eurobserv’ER (2019), the number of people working in the industry in the European Union declined from 29 000 in 2016 to 21 900 in 2017 (the latest year for which data are available). In the United States, employment was estimated by IRENA at 12 100 jobs in 2018.
Accordingly, employment in other technologies is only 11,7% worldwide.