The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ‘World Energy Employment 2023’ report has revealed a significant surge in energy job opportunities in 2022, driven by investments in clean energy technologies. “Governments, industry, and educational institutions need to put in place programmes to deliver the expertise needed in the energy sector to keep pace with growing demand, particularly to manufacture and build the clean energy projects necessary to meet our energy and climate goals,” said Executive Director Fatih Birol. According to the report, the global energy workforce reached 67 million in 2022, marking a notable uptick of 3.5 million from pre-pandemic levels. The surge primarily unfolded in sectors like solar photovoltaic (PV), wind, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries, heat pumps, and critical minerals mining. Solar PV emerged as the largest employer, accounting for four million jobs, while EVs and batteries experienced the most rapid growth, adding over one million jobs since 2019. While fossil fuel industries also witnessed a rise in employment, the rebound was more subdued, with employment levels still below pre-pandemic figures. Clean energy jobs now surpass fossil fuels, representing over half of total energy sector employment. “The unprecedented acceleration that we have seen in clean energy transitions is creating millions of new job opportunities all over the world – but these are not being filled quickly enough,” said Birol. The report also highlighted a pressing issue of skilled labour shortages, echoing concerns voiced by 160 energy firms globally. The disparity between growing demand and the number of workers pursuing relevant degrees or certifications poses a significant challenge. “Governments and industry need to address the gap between workforce demand and available skills to ensure a smooth energy transition,” Birol added.
Clean technologies are powering job growth in the global energy sector — with the workforce rising to 67 million last year
Clean energy employment now makes up over half of all energy jobs, after overtaking fossil fuels in 2021
— International Energy Agency (@IEA) November 16, 2023