Skip to Content
Climate change

More than 10 million people now have jobs in renewable energy

According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency, more than 500,000 jobs in the sector were created in 2017, bringing the overall total to 10.3 million.

Where it is growing: Just six countries owned 70 percent of that growth: the US, China, India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan. Asia is now home to four-fifths of all renewable-energy jobs.

Which types of energy? The production of photovoltaic panels accounted for the largest number (3.4 million) of renewable jobs in 2017, including a 9 percent increase over the previous year. Two-thirds of those jobs were located in China, the top producer of panels worldwide.

Why it matters: A select few countries are leading the charge in both building and installing renewable-energy capacity. The report also offers tangible evidence of the industry’s power to create jobs on a large scale. That should appeal to anyone worried that it’s eating into jobs in the fossil fuels sector.

Bonus reading: Earlier this year we spoke to a woman working in one of these energy jobs of the future.

Deep Dive

Climate change

This geothermal startup showed its wells can be used like a giant underground battery

If Fervo Energy’s field results work at commercial scale, it could become cheaper and easier to green the grid.

Researchers launched a solar geoengineering test flight in the UK last fall

The experiment, largely designed to test equipment, took place despite deep concerns about the technology.

The UN just handed out an urgent climate to-do list. Here’s what it says.

Cheap and available technologies can help us meet climate goals this decade: here’s how, according to the new UN climate report.

These companies want to go beyond batteries to store energy

Physical energy storage could be a cheap and long-lasting way to stabilize the grid.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.