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IRENA Holds First Renewable Energy Jobs Conference

irena-energy-jobs21 January 2014: The Renewable Energy Jobs Conference, organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), took place in connection with the World Future Energy Summit. The Conference discussed how the renewables sector has become a significant employer with potential for creating millions more jobs worldwide in coming years.

At the Conference, IRENA launched a report on job creation in the renewable energy sector, which indicates that wind power employment more than doubled over the past five years, and solar photovoltaic employment grew nearly 13 fold over the same period. In the report, titled 'Renewable Energy and Jobs,' IRENA explains it expects these growth trends to continue, and estimates that the 5.7 million people employed directly or indirectly by renewables in 2012 could nearly triple to 16.7 million by 2030. The report finds that while the bulk of renewables employment is concentrated in Brazil, China, the EU, India and the US, many other countries are also gaining ground. It notes that, with recent manufacturing price reductions, the employment landscape has also changed in recent years, with increases in installation, maintenance and repair employment opportunities rapidly outstripping jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Aside from its statistical analyses of the global jobs market for renewables, the report contains chapters on: renewable energy employment figures and trends; measuring employment from renewable energy; policy instruments in support of job creation in the renewable energy sector; renewable energy skills, occupations, education and training; job creation in the context of energy access; gender dimensions of renewable energy employment; and policy recommendations.

The conference on jobs, which took place on 21 January 2014, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), provided an opportunity for experts and policy makers to share knowledge, experiences and best practices on renewable energy job creation. In closing the Conference, Hugo Lucas, Director of IRENA's Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre, stressed the importance of more awareness, social support and active people to drive the renewable energy transition. [Publication: Renewable Energy and Jobs] [IIDS RS Summary of the IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Conference] [IISD RS Coverage of the Africa Clean Energy Corridor High-Level Meeting, the Fourth Session of the IRENA Assembly, the World Future Energy Summit 2014, and the IRENA Renewable Energy Jobs Conference]