employment in global renewable energy
By the end of 2009 global employment in renewable energy was approximately 1.9 million. Although in the last ten years the advanced economies have shown leadership in encouraging renewable energy, developing countries are playing a growing role. China and Brazil, for example, account for a large share of the global total, with a strong commitment to both solar thermal and biomass development. Many jobs are created are in installation, operation and maintenance, as well as in biofuel feedstocks. The outlook for the future is bright: developing countries, such as Kenya with its solar technology potential, are expected to generate substantial numbers of jobs.
To ensure that the renewables sector provides large scale employment, a strong policy environment is essential. Some countries have already shown that renewable energy can form an important part of national economic strategies. Germany, for instance, views its investment in wind and solar PV as making a crucial contribution to its export markets. The government’s intention is to gain a major slice of the world market in the coming decades, with most German jobs in these industries depending on export of wind turbines and solar panels. Although only a few countries currently have the requisite scientific and manufacturing know-how to develop such a strategy, the markets for wind and solar equipment in particular are experiencing rapid growth.