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IRENA Finds Significant Renewable Energy Job Potential in Developing Countries

IRENA6 June 2012: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has released a new report titled "Renewable Energy Jobs and Access," focusing on job creation through renewable energy technologies in rural areas. It finds that if the UN goal of providing sustainable energy for all by 2030 is reached, up to four million jobs will be created in the off-grid electricity sector alone.

The report draws its conclusions from 12 case studies from Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, focusing on a number of renewable energy technologies, including biogas, solar, small-scale hydropower and improved cookstoves.

The study finds: that most developing countries play a limited role in manufacturing renewable energy equipment and components, while there is larger employment potential in downstream activities; that many required skills and training for small-scale renewable energy technologies can be developed locally, reducing reliance on foreign expertise; that employment in most renewable energy technologies enterprises is male-dominated, especially in managerial and technical positions; and that appropriate national-level administrative structures need to be established to ensure quality assurance, which requires building capacity and technical expertise. [IRENA Press Release] [Publication: Renewable Energy Jobs and Access]