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Renewable energy sector accounts for 11.5 million jobs

On a worldwide scale, the renewable energy sector is responsible for 11.5 million jobs. This is evident from the seventh edition of Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Solar energy accounts for about 3.8 million jobs.


The IRENA report confirms the long-term growth trend, but also shows that strong policy measures are essential to ensure a continued employment expansion in the COVID-19 era.

Last year, 63 percent of all renewable energy jobs were registered in Asia, confirming the region’s status as a market leader. It is striking, according to the researchers, that jobs in the renewable energy sector have a better balance between men and women than fossil fuels; namely, 32 percent of women in the renewable energy sector and 21 percent of women in fossil fuel sectors.

IRENA advocates for policymakers to prioritize retraining for fossil fuel workers who have lost or are at risk of losing their jobs. Many of them have significant skills and expertise to contribute to a reoriented, clean energy industry. In addition, an ambitious stimulus program in response to the corona crisis could create up to 5.5 million more jobs over the next 3 years than a business-as-usual approach.

Top 10 solar energy

The top 10 accounts for 87 percent of the jobs in solar power, successively in China, Japan, America, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil, Germany and the Philippines. China even accounts for 59 percent of the jobs.

Year Number of solar power jobs (in million) Number of jobs in solar heat (in million)
2012 1,36 0,89
2013 2,27 0,5
2014 2,49 0,76
2015 2,77 0,94
2016 3,09 0,83
2017 3,37 0,81
2018 3,68 0,8
2019 3,75 0,82

China is also the market leader in solar heating. Together with Turkey, India, Brazil and the United States, it accounts for 93 percent of the jobs in the solar thermal sector. The sector provides 823,300 jobs worldwide.

Source:, 9 november 2020

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