Renewable Energy Jobs and Access (2012)

June 2012

Renewable energy technologies, including solar photovoltaic, small-scale wind, hydro, and biogas are becoming cheaper, more efficient and better adapted to the needs of rural populations in developing countries not being served by electricity grids. Improved cookstoves also play an important role since they allow for the more efficient use of biofuels. However, current information on job creation through renewable energy technologies in rural areas is quite sparse. Job creation figures are rarely being tracked in any systematic manner as there are few reporting channels, and many of the enterprises and projects working to enhance energy access are small and dispersed.

This report is among the first to delve into the topic of job creation in the context of rural access to energy. It presents twelve first-hand case studies from practitioners in Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia, across a set of renewable energy technologies, including biogas, small-scale hydropower, improved cookstoves, solar home systems and other solar technologies. The projects cover a range of activities, including support for the sale, installation and maintenance of small solar systems; small-scale production of improved cooking stoves; investment and training in small hydropower plants; advice to business start-ups and marketing and networking for producers; among others.