The number of renewable energy jobs rose to nearly 6.5 million worldwide in 2013, a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency has found.
The report found that the rise was pushed by the growing solar market in China. Solar installations grew five-fold from 2011 to 2013 in China, and accounted for 1.6 million jobs. Globally, the solar industry accounted for about 2.3 million jobs. The price of solar panels has been declining steadily, and this has contributed to a rise in new solar installations and jobs globally.
After the strong solar sector, liquid biofuels managed to account for 1.4 million jobs globally, and the wind power and biomass sectors drew even with around 800,000 jobs each.
Interestingly, many of these renewable energy jobs were to be found in so-called developing countries. China accounted for 2.64 million jobs overall, with the European Union renewable energy job market positioned second with 1.25 million jobs. Brazil was third with 894,000, and the United States was fourth with 625,000 jobs.
In the United State the solar sector was also a big driver of growth within renewable energy, reaching 143,000 jobs in 2013. This was a 20% increase over the year before, and a 53% increase since 2010.
With about 6.5 million people now employed in renewable energy, the industry is becoming a significant force in job creation worldwide. No doubt these numbers will rise a lot more in coming years, as solar power continues to get cheaper and enters the mainstream.