Last year, 9.8 million people were employed in the renewable energy sector, according to the latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The report, Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017, has revealed falling cost and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy worldwide.
IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin said the first assessment in 2012 showed more than seven million people were working in the sector.
“In the past four years the number of jobs in the solar and wind sectors combined has more than doubled,” he said.
“Renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition.
“As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect the number of people working in the sector could reach 24 million by 2030; more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major driver around the world.”
The review shows solar photovoltaic was the largest employer in 2016, with 3.1 million jobs – up 12 per cent from 2015 – mainly in China, the US and India.
New wind installations contribute to a seven per cent increase in global wind employment, raising it up to 1.2 million jobs.
Globally, 62 per cent of the jobs are located in Asia, as installation and manufacturing continue to shift to the region, particularly Malaysia and Thailand, which has become the global centre for solar PV fabrication.