Photovoltaic power generation has the largest number of employees in the renewable energy sector


Industry Dynamics



According to IRENA statistics, in 2018, the total number of renewable energy labor force in the world is 11 million, among which photovoltaic power generation is the renewable energy industry with the largest number of employees in the world, accounting for 1/3 of the total labor force, about 3.6 million, ranking first for the third consecutive year. About 1.2 million people work in wind power, with the rest scattered around biofuels, hydropower, solar heating and cooling, and biogas.

While PV employment in China, the US, Japan and the EU fell last year, it expanded in India, south-east Asia and Brazil, partly filling the gap.

Not only that, there are only 15,600 photovoltaic jobs in Latin America today, but IRENA thinks that number could double in the future, given the strong growth in the region.

To the surprise of many outsiders, the number of people working in pv is second only to that in liquid biomass, not wind power. In 2018, 2.1 million people were employed in the liquid biomass fuel industry, including bioethanol and biodiesel, up 6 percent from 2017. Brazil was the biggest employer, while Colombia and southeast Asia also did well, with the European Union and the United States also increasing.

In 2018, 1.2 million people were employed in the global wind power industry. Although onshore wind still dominates, offshore wind has received more attention. According to IRENA, China accounts for 44% of the total number of wind power employees worldwide, followed by Germany and the us. Analysts say offshore wind is a particularly attractive option in the renewable energy job market.

Although hydropower is the largest source of renewable electricity on the planet, with more than 12 gigawatts of installed capacity, only 2.1 million people were employed in the industry in 2018, with 75 percent of those employed in the operations and maintenance sector and only 23 percent in construction and installation.

The report also showed that 801,400 people were employed in solar heating and cooling in 2018, with 711,000 in Asia alone.