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According to research, COVID-19 does not affect the growth of clean energy jobs

Despite the pandemic, clean energy jobs increased to 12 million in a year, but policymakers believe green jobs must include fair working conditions and attract more women. Despite the massive economic disruptions created by the COVID-19 epidemic, the number of people employed in renewable energy grew in 2020, according to international agencies, with the expanding sector holding up better compared to fossil fuels.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO), there was 12 million employments in renewable energy as well as its supply chains last year, with solar power accounting for a third of them. This was an increase from the 11.5 million jobs created in 2019.

In a foreword, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera remarked, “The year 2020 revealed that not even a global pandemic can prevent the progress of renewable energy.” He went on to say that the COVID-19 crisis, along with the challenges posed by global warming, “reinforce the necessity for a just and comprehensive transition toward a sustainable, reliable electricity supply and healthy, sustainable, climate-friendly jobs.”

According to the research, achieving a just transition from coal, oil, and gas to solar, wind, bioenergy, and hydropower will necessitate initiatives to train people in new skills and develop local supply networks. It also stated that those who lose work in high-carbon businesses such as coal mining will require social protection. Lockdowns to manage the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted several aspects of the renewables business in 2020, according to the report, including a minor drop-in biofuels employment due to decreasing transportation use.

Off-grid solar lighting revenues were also down in developing countries, but firms were able to keep job losses to a minimum thanks to government funding, according to the report. The steady development of renewable energy jobs worldwide despite the epidemic, according to Martha Newton, who works as the ILO’s deputy director-general in charge of the policy, is “a very positive indicator.”

But she said at the report’s unveiling via video, getting the most social and economic advantages from the clean energy revolution will necessitate looking beyond the number of employees. “We need a strategy to the energy transition that encourages the creation of good jobs,” she stated, referring to jobs that promote equity, security, and human dignity.

The survey emphasized the importance of bringing more women into renewable energy employment, even though they now hold 32% of those positions on average, relative to 22% in the gas and oil sector. Rwanda’s infrastructure minister, Claver Gatete, said his country was promoting girls to study engineering by providing internships in clean energy companies and setting gender objectives for the sector.

According to the estimate, the solar photovoltaics sector will employ around 4 million people by 2020, while biofuels will employ 2.4 million, hydropower will employ 2.2 million, and wind energy will employ 1.25 million. China accounted for about four out of every ten renewable energy jobs, followed by the United States, Brazil, India, and European Union member states.

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