The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has submitted its report for the year 2018. The number of people employed in this sector rose from 10.5 million in 2017 to 11 million, more than ever before. Photovoltaics accounts for around one third of the jobs: 3.61 million. This figure includes around 372,000 employees working in off-grid applications, i.e. isolated solutions that are not connected to a public power grid. Photovoltaics is followed by bioenergy and hydropower.
Most of the employees working in photovoltaics are in Asia, which is home to about 85% of the jobs or about 3 million workers, 2.2 million of whom work in China. According to IRENA, last year the number of photovoltaic jobs increased mainly in India, Southeast Asia and Brazil, while such jobs decreased in China, the US, Japan and the EU. North America currently employs 6.4%, Africa 3.9% and Europe 3.2% of the world’s photovoltaic workforce. There are currently around 90,800 jobs in this sector in the EU, 5% fewer than in 2017. Germany ranks eighth in this regard.
IRENA is an international governmental organization for the worldwide promotion of the expansion and sustainable use of renewable energies. It was founded in 2009 in Bonn, where the IRENA Innovation and Technology Center (IITC), one of the three specialist departments, is still based today.