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Renewable energies continue their unstoppable advance in our society. According to a study published by IRENA (International Renewable Energy Association), the green sector is in luck with more than 12.7 million jobs worldwide in 2021; a record that can be explained thanks to the growing acceleration of environmentally friendly energies. Thus, the report provides enlightening figures showing how in the last decade employment in renewables has grown from 7.3 million people in 2012 to 12.7 million in 2021. This growth is estimated to fall short of the 38 million professionals expected to be employed by 2030 if investment in renewables continues to grow in line with the most favourable forecasts. All in all, jobs associated with the energy sector would total 139 million worldwide, including more than 74 million in energy efficiency, electric vehicles, storage systems and hydrogen.
In terms of technologies, the study indicates that solar photovoltaic is the sub sector that generates the most employment in renewables, with 4,291,000 people dedicated to its installation, production, maintenance… This is followed by biofuels, with 2.42 million; hydroelectric power, with 2.37 million; wind power, with 1.37 million; solar thermal energy, with 769,000; biomass, with 716,000; biogas, with 307,000; geothermal power, with 196,000; concentrated solar power, with 79,000; waste management, with 30,000; and another 126,000 jobs in other types of renewable technologies and sub sectors.
And it is not for nothing that solar photovoltaic energy was responsible for generating a third of all employment in renewables in 2021; it is also the sector with the highest growth in installed capacity and demand in the world.
Globally, 2021 saw the installation of 257 GW of renewable energy, expanding cumulative production capacity by 9% to 3,068 GW, with solar and wind power accounting for 88% (133 GW and 93 GW respectively). By contrast, hydroelectric generation capacity grew by only 25 GW, maintaining the 2020 trend.
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