Press Releases

21 Jan 2014
Employment in Renewable Energy Sector Reaches 5.7 Million Globally

New IRENA report proves positive socio-economic impacts of renewable energy

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today launched a pioneering new report on employment in the renewable energy sector, Renewable Energy and Jobs. The first global study of its kind, it features new data on employment within the sector, as well as recommendations for policy makers. In 2012, employment in renewable energy worldwide stood at 5.7 million with the potential for adding 11 million jobs in the years to 2030.

“The new report helps to bridge a knowledge gap in terms of specific analytical work and empirical evidence on a global scale, which to date has been limited,”Rabia Ferroukhi, Senior Programme Officer at IRENA and lead author of the report, said. “Our report creates a greater understanding of how renewable energy generates jobs and wealth. It is a breakthrough for informed policy choices in this important area.”

Bringing together information from a wide variety of sources in the most comprehensive way to date, the report shows that the majority of jobs are currently concentrated in China, the European Union, Brazil, the United States and India. Employment trends of the different renewable energy technologies vary. Today, the report finds, biofuels and solar PV provide the most jobs. By 2030, employment for all renewable energy technologies combined is projected to rise to approximately 16.7 million. Renewable energy employment reflects regional shifts in renewable energy manufacturing, industry realignments, growing export competition, and changes in policy directions, the report finds.

Renewable Energy and Jobs outlines a series of key recommendations to strengthen future job creation in the sector, including a mix of policies tailored to specific country conditions and priorities; forward-looking education and training policies; and dedicated off-grid renewable energy policies to create jobs and stimulate growth in rural economies.

The report, available to download at, will be the basis of the IRENA International Renewable Energy Jobs Conference, which is being held today at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibition Centre, alongside the World Future Energy Summit.


About IRENA:

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 124 Members (123 States and the European Union). Over 40 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first global intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

For more information, please contact:
Timothy Hurst, Chief Communications Officer, IRENA

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