The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a report on the booming renewable energy industry and its impressive performance for the previous year. According to IRENA’s report, the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector has reached 7.7 million worldwide. The report did exclude large hydropower, which supported nearly 1.5 million jobs in 2014, bringing the total to over 9 million renewable energy jobs in reality.
The report, titled IRENA’s Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review, launched as Climate Week Paris was underway, during which The Climate Group released what it is calling a “climate action barometer” in order to measure the confidence level of world leaders in delivering on promises of a low carbon economy. The Climate Group will use the figures from IRENA’s report, aiming to encourage and hold leaders accountable for boosting the growth of a low carbon economy and job creation.
China has been the dominant power in this green energy revolution, having two-thirds of the 2.5 million solar photovoltaic jobs. To that end, Solar photovoltaic is also the sector that employs the largest number in the industry. The lowering costs of solar panels have been a significant factor in the growth of solar energy, which is once again led by China, accounting for 70% of the world’s solar photovoltaic production.
In the wind power sector, employment has increased past the 1 million jobs milestone, up from 834,000 jobs in 2013. China accounts for over 500,000 jobs in the wind sector, showing that green energy ambitions are producing results. In the United States, wind power jobs have increased 43% t0 730,000 jobs with Brazil coming in a close third.