As of 2017, 10.3 million people work in renewable energy around the world, with more than 70 percent of those jobs located in China, Brazil, the US, India, Germany and Japan.
According to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the renewable energy industry created more than 500,000 jobs in 2017, a 5.3 percent increase over 2016. The new jobs pushed the number of global workers in the industry to 10.3 million.
According to Solar Industry Magazine, Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s director-general, said, “this data supports our analysis that decarbonization of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”According to Solar Industry Magazine, “this data supports (the) analysis that decarbonization of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.”” quote=”According to Solar Industry Magazine, “this data supports (the) analysis that decarbonization of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050.””]
The solar industry remains the largest employer of all renewable energy technologies, accounting for close to 3.4 million jobs; roughly 233,000 of those jobs are in the United States.
According to CNN, in 2016 , “solar employment (in the US) expanded … 17 times faster than the total US economy.”
In fact, the number of jobs in solar energy has nearly tripled since 2010, with solar employment rising in 29 states last year, including Arizona, Utah, Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Florida. And given the cost of solar energy production is only expected to fall, the industry is poised to grow even more in the near future.
What’s more, according to The New York Times, “The California Energy Commission is expected to approve changes to the building code on Wednesday to require solar panels on all new homes (in California),” a move that’s expected to add a significant number of jobs to the state’s solar energy industry, which already employs more than 86,000 workers.
The code changes, “will help homeowners keep their electricity bills down under a new rate structure that favors renewable sources” and is “part of an overall suite of reforms to reduce greenhouse gases.”
Solar power is an example of an emerging industry, or an industry that has exploded in size due to recent changes in technology, changes in law, or both.
If you’re interested in learning more about what impact these emerging industries are having on the economy, or if you’re interested in seeking a job in one, read PayScale’s report, Jobs in Emerging Industries: The Growth of New Industries, and the Job Creation That Comes With Them.
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