The sources that create work

The sources that create work

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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The development of renewables represents an opportunity for economic growth, with the creation of jobs and the emergence of new professional figures

Almost 10 million people worldwide work in the renewable energy sector, an increase of 1.1% compared to 2015. This is declared in the latest report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The new study presented at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, during the 13th IRENA meeting, shows that since 2012, the year of  its first publication, the number of workers employed in the industry has continued to increase, although with a more moderate growth rate over the last two years. Data shows how renewable sources, besides being an ally of fundamental importance in combating climate change, are also a huge opportunity for economic growth.

According to IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, if the trend stays the same over the next decade, that could signify 24 million workers in the service of renewable energy by 2030. An evolution also favoured by a progressive reduction in costs as regards the construction, installation and commissioning of the plants.
China, Brazil, the United States, Japan and Germany
have so far proved to be the countries most capable of creating employment in the green energy sector. Focusing on the Asian colossus, in 2016 Chinese workers in this market were 3.64 million (+ 3.4% in one year).
Regarding the technology, the "Renewable Energy and Jobs - Annual Review 2017" indicates that the greatest contribution in terms of jobs comes from solar photovoltaic (with 3.1 million jobs) and wind (having gone from a million jobs in 2015 to 1.2 million in 2016). While liquid biofuels (from 1.8 to 1.7 million), biomasses (from 822 thousand to 723 thousand) and biogas (from 381 thousand to 333 thousand) are among the sectors which, despite a slight decrease, account for the largest number of jobs, particularly in the field of raw material supply. Among the other sources that create work we find the large hydroelectric plants, that employed 1.5 million, and the small hydroelectric plants, with 211 thousand people.