India is one of the largest employers in the renewable energy industry, which has become a leading employer sector globally with approximately 6.5 million people directly or indirectly earning their livelihood from it, according to a study.
The study by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said there has been a steady growth in the renewable energy jobs worldwide which expanded from 5.7 million in 2012, underlining the important role that renewables continue to play in employment creation and growth in the global economy.
“With 6.5 million people directly or indirectly employed in renewable energy, the sector is proving that it is no longer a niche, it has become a significant employer worldwide,” said IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin.
Renewable energy employment was shaped by regional shifts, industry realignments, growing competition and advances in technologies and manufacturing processes in 2013.
The largest employers by country are China, Brazil, the United States, India, Germany, Spain and Bangladesh, while the largest employers by sector are solar photovoltaic, bio fuels, wind, modern biomass and biogas.
IRENA estimated a five-fold increase of solar PV installations in China from 2011 to 2013.
“Surging demand for solar PV in China and Japan has increased employment in the installation sector and eased some PV module over-supply concerns,” said Rabia Ferroukhi, heading the Knowledge, Policy and Finance division at IRENA and lead author of the report titled ‘Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2014’.
The bio fuels value chain provides the second largest number of renewable energy jobs after solar PV. The United States remains the largest bio fuels producer, while Brazil remains the largest employer.