Launch of Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review 2020

29 September 2020 |Webinar

IRENA’s new edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, the seventh report in the series, analyses the status of renewable energy employment in 2019 around the world. The report continues to refine and improve data and underlying methodologies compared to previous editions.

This webinar featured a presentation of key findings from Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2020, heard from a panel of invited experts, and explored the report’s significance in the context of maximising the benefits of the energy transition.


Job creation is a critical objective in economies around the world. This is especially the case as countries undertake the needed energy transition to fulfil the sustainable development agenda and move toward greater climate-compatibility. This year has added another momentous challenge in form of the COVID-19 crisis. The response to the pandemic has brought much of the world’s economic activity to a halt, triggering widespread loss of jobs and livelihoods. It is clear that the short-term recovery needs to be shaped in ways that support the medium- and long-term transformation of energy systems and entire economies.

Against this backdrop, IRENA analyzes the socio-economic impacts of the energy transition, including GDP, human welfare benefits, and employment. Through an array of reports, the agency assesses current jobs; projects employment potential to 2050; examines opportunities for countries to create domestic value by leveraging their existing capacities; analyses education and training needs; and highlights the state of gender equality in the sector.

Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2020 highlights the latest employment trends by technology, including decentralised applications of renewable energy for improved energy access. It offers insights for selected countries (and spotlights job creation and supply chain development in different provinces or regions). Interspersed throughout the report are findings on the gender dimension of renewable energy. The report also features initiatives on education and training. The importance of measures such as vocational training, curricula development, teacher training, and enhanced technology use for remote learning continues to rise, so as to avoid skills shortages as renewable energy deployment continues to scale up.

Skilling (and reskilling of fossil fuel workers with relevant expertise) is a key component of a comprehensive policy package for maximising socio-economic benefits. A just transition needs to holistically address synergies between the energy and socio-economic systems; leverage and enhance countries’ capacities; correct any structural misalignments that may emerge; and provide social protection for affected workers and communities.