2017 saw a massive rise in clean energy jobs, with over 500,000 new positions added worldwide. For the first time, the total number of people employed in clean energy rose to 10 million.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), over 70 percent of these jobs are clustered in just six countries: China, Brazil, India, Germany, Japan, and the US. By 2050, the clean energy sector is expected to employ up to 28 million people worldwide.
Growth is expected to continue in this field in the years to come, as increasing environmental and regulatory pressures encourage energy companies to embrace clean energy options. Here’s what energy companies need to know.
1. Some Clean Energy Sectors are Growing Faster Than Others.
To date, solar photovoltaics has outpaced other forms of clean energy for growth, adding 3.4 million jobs worldwide in 2017 alone. About 90 percent of the world’s solar PV workers are employed in China, Japan, India, Bangladesh, and the United States.
Wind is a close second, employing about 1.15 million workers worldwide, 84 percent of which are clustered in China, Europe, and North America. As floating wind turbine technology continues to develop, the United States and other countries are expected to add considerably more turbines – and the workers needed to build and maintain them.
While biofuels currently employ only about 2 million workers worldwide, a growth rate of 12 percent in this sector over the past few years have turned ethanol and biodiesel into rising competitors.
2. Clean Energy is Taking the Place of its Predecessors.
There’s a common perception that closing older coal or nuclear plants is a net loss in terms of jobs. This negative perception can harm an energy company’s public relations and even its hiring.
However, the rise in clean energy demonstrates that jobs aren’t simply evaporating; rather, they’re adapting to the needs of a changing world. Companies that embrace this view and communicate it within their employment brands stand to gain a PR boost and to grab the attention of some of the best energy industry professionals available today.
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