Michal Dinal IRINA Clean Energy Jobs 2014.pdf

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are continuing and far-reaching changes in the
Brazilian ethanol industry. Increasing mechanisation of sugarcane cultivation and harvesting
has reduced the number of direct jobs to about
331,000 in 2012, down from some 460,000 in 2006.
Meanwhile, ethanol production jobs increased
from almost 177,000 to 208,000, though they
are slightly down from more than 213,000 in the
2009-2011 period (MTE/RAIS, 2014). Biodiesel is
still far less important than ethanol in Brazil, but
employment is on the rise, reaching 81,800 in
2012 (Ministério de Minas e Energia and Empresa
de Pesquisa Energética (MME and EPE), 2013).
Other Brazilian sources point to a larger figure of
86,112 jobs (direct and indirect) in 2011, a 3.5-fold
increase from 24,660 in 2008 (Associação dos
Produtores de Biodiesel do Brasil and Fundação
Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas (APROBIO and
FIPE), 2012).

In the United States, solar employment has
been rising fast, mostly in solar PV project development and installation. Employment reached
close to 143,000 jobs across all solar technologies in 2013 (predominantly PV). This employer
survey-based figure includes most direct jobs
and many indirect jobs.5 2013 saw a gain of almost 24,000 jobs, 20% over 2012, raising the total
to 53% above 2010. Driven by the falling costs
of solar panels, installation jobs now represent
almost half of all solar jobs; sales and project
development add another 22%. Manufacturing
accounts for only 21%, down from 36% in 2011.
The number of manufacturing jobs stabilised in
2013, following a drop of some 8,000 jobs in 2011
(Solar Foundation, 2014).
The manufacturing capacity of the US wind
industry has grown strongly in the last decade.

Box 2
To take the example of one large renewable energy

the extension of PTC meant that a year of record instal-

market, the US Production Tax Credit (PTC) has been

lations (13.8 GW in 2012) was followed by a year with

instrumental for wind development. It must be renewed

the lowest installation (1.1 GW) since 2004. The PTC was

regularly by Congress, but it has lapsed several times

eventually extended in January 2013 (after expiring the

before a renewal was agreed. Such discontinuity

previous month). After some months of restarting the

reduces the propensity to invest and has resulted in a

industry, over 12 GW of wind power plants were under

repeated rollercoaster (in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2010 and

construction at the end of 2013 (Global Wind Energy

2013) for capacity additions (Figure 3) and thus in

Council (GWEC), 2013). It is estimated that 7.8 GW will be

associated employment. The uncertainty surrounding

deployed in 2014 (Global Data, 2014).

Figure 3. United States Wind Capacity Additions and PTC

MW Deployed

PTC expiration
and extension


PTC extension


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014e

Note: The capacity addition for 2014 is estimated (Global Data, 2014).
Source: IRENA, 2013.


The Solar Foundation claims that a full accounting of indirect jobs, and inclusion of induced employment, could raise the full economic impact to nearly
600,000 jobs throughout the US economy.

Renewa ble En e rgy and Job s – A nnu al R ev iew 2 0 1 4