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Green Energy Jobs Will Offset Fossil Fuel Employment Losses

24 May 15:00 by Steve Walia

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A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found that new jobs in the renewable energy field could help to mitigate the fall in employment in fossil fuels and provide a powerful economic boost by 2030 on a global scale.

The findings are presented as part of IRENA's annual report, which found that over 9.8 million people worldwide are current employed in renewables - including the hydropower industry - and the figure is continuing to grow, with interesting regional variations.

Adnan Amin, the organisation's lead, said that green energy was helping to directly bolster Britain's broader economic and social goals, with the creation of new jobs providing a key element of the transition to a clean energy future.

He explained that the shift towards green energy was happening on all levels, with predictions suggesting that 24 million people could be employed in the industry by 2030. This would more than offset the number of jobs lost in the fossil fuel industries and help to position the green energy industry as one of the country's biggest economic drivers.

The biggest renewables employer in 2016 was solar PV, which sustained 3.1 million jobs and represented a 12pc rise from the previous year. Most of these roles were found in the USA, in China and in India, particularly in manufacturing of component parts, new development projects and micro-generation.

Employment in solar power accelerated 17 times more rapidly than the USA's entire economy to over 260,000 roles - a 25pc rise from the year before.

63pc of the renewable energy roles are also found in Asia, particularly in Thailand and Malaysia, which are particular hotspots for manufacturing of solar technologies.

Africa also has 62,000 jobs in renewables, which are mainly in utility-scale developments.