7.7 million employed in renewable energy worldwide

With China leading the way by a large margin, a total of 7.7 million people are employed in the renewable energy industry around the world, up 18% over the 6.5 million employed in the industry a year ago, according to a new report by the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, titled Renewable Energy and Jobs 2015 Annual Review, finds that the solar power sector leads the way in employment, accounting for nearly 2.5 million jobs around the world, followed by liquid biofuels, a sector that now employs about nearly 1.8 million people. The liquid biofuels sector may account for Brazil’s rank as the second largest employer in renewable energy, at about 934,000 people, after China’s 3.39 billion jobs. Brazil is a major biofuels producer and employs tens of thousands of people in feedstock supply. The United States ranks third globally in the employment of people in the renewable energy sector, at 724,000. After solar and liquid biofuels, the sectors with the largest levels of employment are wind power at 1.027 million jobs, biomass at 822,000 jobs, and solar heating and cooling at 764,000 jobs.