New Delhi: The clean energy employment around the world has surpassed 50 percent mark for its share of total energy employment, with nearly two-thirds of workers involved in building new projects and manufacturing clean energy technologies, according to the first World Energy Employment Report released by International Energy Agency.
The report added that at the same time, the oil and gas sector is also experiencing an upswing in employment, with new projects under development, notably new liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure.
It says that the amount of energy jobs worldwide has recovered from disruptions due to Covid-19, increasing above its pre-pandemic level of over 65 million people, or around 2% of the total labour force.
“The growth has been driven by hiring in clean energy sectors. The oil and gas sector, meanwhile, saw some of the largest declines in employment at the start of the pandemic and has yet to fully recover” the report said.
The agency in its report also said, “ the energy sector is set to see its fastest employment growth in recent years in 2022, however high input costs and inflationary pressures are adding to hiring and supply chain challenges already present in some regions and subsectors, such as solar, wind, oil, and gas”.
In the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the report said, “14 million new clean energy jobs are created by 2030, while another 16 million workers switch to new roles related to clean energy”.
It added that more than half of energy employment is in the Asia-Pacific region which reflects rapidly expanding energy infrastructure in the region and access to lower-cost labour that has enabled the emergence of manufacturing hubs that serve both local and export markets, notably for solar, electric vehicles and batteries.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that “Countries around the world are responding to the current crisis by seeking to accelerate the growth of homegrown clean energy industries. The regions that make this move will see huge growth in jobs”.
Seizing this opportunity requires skilled workers. Governments, companies, labour representatives and educators must come together to develop the programmes and accreditations needed to cultivate this workforce and ensure the jobs created are quality jobs that can attract a diverse workforce” he added.
“Around 45% of the world’s energy workers are in high-skilled occupations, compared with about 25% for the wider economy. Some fossil fuel companies are retraining workers internally for positions in low-carbon areas to retain talent or to maintain flexibility as needs arise” it said.