The renewable energy sector has created 700,000 jobs despite the Covid crisis

In the midst of the global economic slowdown, there is a sector that is not going through the crisis. Driven by new environmental standards, renewable energies in full development have allowed the creation of 700,000 jobs in 2021, despite “the persistent effects of Covid-19 and the rise of the energy crisis,” the Agency announced this Thursday. International Renewable Energies (IRENA). . IRENA is an intergovernmental body that promotes the sector and is based in Abu Dhabi in the Emirates.

In total, the number of jobs in the global renewable energy sector (solar, wind, hydroelectric, biofuels, biogas, geothermal) reached 12.7 million in 2021 compared to 7.28 million ten years ago ( 2012) and the 12 million in 2020, two thirds will be in Asia. Minus the quantity (when the United States alone created 6.4 million jobs in 2021), what is convincing is the progress.

In total, China alone concentrates 42% of the jobs in the sector, the European Union and Brazil 10% each, the United States and India 7%, Irena indicates in her report.

It should be noted that Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and China are the countries that have made the most effort in favor of renewable energies, among the richest nations, according to another report by the non-governmental organization Climate Group. Russia and Saudi Arabia occupy the last places in the ranking.

Renewable energies: among the “rich” countries, Spain is the one that makes the most effort, France lags behind

Photovoltaics is recruiting

The main growth sector is photovoltaics, which employs about 4.3 million people worldwide. Of this total, China accounted for 40% of new solar projects, followed by the United States, India, Brazil and Germany.

Almost all (96%) of the semiconductor (wafer) manufacturers are still based in China, where they benefit from significant government support, notes Irena.

The biofuel sector employs 2.4 million people worldwide, many of them in agro-industrial complexes, the hydroelectric sector 2.35 million.

Wind energy employs a total of 1.37 million people, both in manufacturing and in the operation of wind farms. They increased global generating capacity by 93 GW last year, says the report, produced in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO).

european champion germany

In this sector, China represents 48% of all jobs, and Asia in total 57%, followed by Europe (25%), the United States (16%). Africa and Oceania account for 2% of jobs.

By countries, three European countries are in the top 10, Germany in second position behind China, Denmark (7th) and the United Kingdom (8th). Europe is a leader in the installation of wind farms in the sea that require more complex installations than on land, submarine cables. Given its delay, France presented a recovery plan for the sector in mid-August that the Government must implement.

Renewable energies: France’s plan to finally catch up

Solid biomass exploitation employs 716,000 people, biogas 307,000 and geothermal 196,000.

Irena expects a continuous increase in employees in the renewable energy sector, up to 38.2 million in total by 2030, as investment in energy efficiency, electric vehicles or hydrogen.


ZOOM: renewable energies bring benefits to the State

In the exceptional context of the crisis in wholesale electricity and gas prices, the renewable energy sector has indeed generated juicy income that must be returned to the State, according to a compensation mechanism that the European Commission wants to generalize to all of Europe .

A tool that allows “to a large extent to finance this tariff shield on electricity and gas”, according to Bercy.

The tariff shield bill amounts to about 45,000 million euros, including 11,000 million for gas and 34,000 million for electricity, but the State intends to discount a financial capital gain of 29,000 million recovered from energy companies. renewable (EnR).

The State also counts on the return of “19,000 million euros in profits obtained by energy companies from solar and wind electricity,” explained Bruno Le Maire, before the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly, on September 14. Added to this is one billion euros of additional income from the hydroelectricity of the Rhône national company (CNR).

(with AFP)