Employment in the green energy sector
In the context of global climate change and ecological transition, the development of renewable energy sources is ensuring certain growth for the green technology sector.
In order to respond to the dynamism of the activity, this sector will have to increase its workforce, both for the energies usually put forward, such as wind power or photovoltaic energy, and for hydrogen or biogas, sectors that are still in the early stages of development but which are nevertheless promising.
A STILL GROWING SECTOR
The covid crisis has shown that not even a global pandemic can slow down the progress of renewable energy. Employment in this sector continues to grow, with 12 million workers worldwide. Solar energy photovoltaics comes out on top with 4 million jobs, i.e. one third of the total workforce. The biofuels sector follows closely behind solar photovoltaics with 3.5 million jobs. The other major employers in the renewable energy sector are the hydro and wind industries, which account for 2.2 million and 1.2 million jobs respectively.
If the world keeps following the trajectory of the 1.5°C climate target, climate change will create 122 million jobs in the energy sector worldwide by 2050. (43 million of them in renewable energy). Solar photovoltaics will provide the largest number of jobs by 2050 (20 million), followed by bioenergy, wind and hydro.
The leading countries in equipment manufacturing, project engineering and facilities are China, Brazil, the United States, India and the European Union.
In 2021, 39% of all renewable energy jobs were in China, confirming the region’s leading status in this market, with 4,7 million jobs.
Brazil is also an important actor with 1.2 million jobs in the renewable energy sector, the majority of which are in biofuels.
The countries of Europe, meanwhile, accounted for a total of 1.6 million renewable energy jobs . The bioenergy sector is the largest renewable energy employer on the continent. Regarding wind power, Germany, Spain and the UK are the leaders in overall wind installations in Europe.
Finally, the US has about 838,400 jobs in the renewable energy sector, the majority of which are in solar photovoltaic and wind power.
NEED FOR A SKILLED WORKFORCE
Creating a skilled workforce – project managers, scientists, engineers, technicians, electricians, welders, pipefitters, truck drivers, crane operators and many others – is therefore essential. Labor and skills requirements change over time as technologies mature, the scale and complexity of operations increase, learning takes effect and automation advances, increasing the demand for people with training in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer science, engineering, and telecommunications radio telemetry, among others.
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