There were more than 9.8 million people employed in the renewable energy sector globally in 2016, signifying a 1.1% increase since 2015, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
30 MAY 2017 | CHRIS SEEKINGS
This number is predicted to rise to 24 million by 2030, with the global energy system creating more than enough jobs to offset those lost in fossil-fuel technologies.
It was found that China, Brazil, the US, India, Japan and Germany were the biggest renewable energy employers last year, with most of the increase coming from jobs in solar power.
"Falling costs and enabling policies have steadily driven up investment and employment in renewable energy worldwide since 2012, when just over seven million people were working in the sector," IRENA director-general Adnan Z. Amin, said.
"As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world."
Despite employing close to 110,000 people across the renewables sector, it is thought that the UK lost a third of its solar jobs between 2015 and 2016, with more cuts expected.
This is in stark contrast to the US, where jobs in the solar industry increased 17 times faster than the overall economy, growing 24.5% from 2015 to over 260,000.
New wind installations contributed to a 7% increase in global wind employment, rising to 1.2 million jobs, while Brazil, China, the US and India proved to be the key bioenergy job markets.
The report reveals that 62% of the jobs in renewables are located in Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Thailand, which have become global centres for solar power.
While in Africa, utility-scale renewable energy developments have made great strides, with South Africa and North Africa accounting for three-quarters of the continent's 62,000 renewable jobs.
"Renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition," Amin added.