In 2013, approximately 6.5 million people were employed in the renewable energy industry worldwide, a new study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports. The largest employers by sector were solar photovoltaic, biofuels, wind, modern biomass and biogas.
The annual review shows steady growth in the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide, which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012, according to IRENA.
Renewable energy employment was shaped by regional shifts, industry realignments, growing competition, and advances in technologies and manufacturing processes, the report says. The largest employers by country were China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Germany, Spain and Bangladesh.
‘Surging demand for solar PV in China and Japan has increased employment in the installation sector and eased some PV module oversupply concerns,’ says Rabia Ferroukhi, head of policy and finance division at IRENA and lead author of the report. ‘Consequently, some Chinese manufacturers are now adding capacity.’
IRENA estimates a five-fold increase of solar PV installations in China from 2011 to 2013.