Renewable Energy Jobs Worldwide

The renewable energy industry now employs more than 8.1 million people worldwide (up 5 percent from last year), while jobs in the broader energy sector fell, according to Renewable Energy and Jobs—Annual Review 2016, an IRENA report released in May 2016.

China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Japan, and Germany boasted the most renewable jobs in 2015, with solar photovoltaic leading the pack worldwide at 2.8 million jobs. Liquid biofuels came in second with 1.7 million jobs. Wind came in third with 1.1 million jobs.

Renewable energy jobs in the U.S. increased 6 percent, while employment in oil and gas decreased 18 percent. In China, renewable energy employed 3.5 million people (the most of any country), whereas oil and gas employed 2.6 million.

In the European Union, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark led in offshore wind development, although EU job figures fell for the fourth consecutive year due to weak economic growth.

Japan experienced impressive gains in solar PV as evidenced by a 28 percent gain in employment in that sector. India and Africa are also experiencing significant increases in jobs due to renewable energy.

Perhaps most interesting of all the findings is the fact that the renewable energy sector employed larger shares of women than the broader energy sector.