- Renewable energy has created 1.37 million jobs in Bangladesh
- There were around 11.5 million renewable energy jobs worldwide in 2019 – up by half a million from 2018
- Women hold 32% of these jobs
- Asia accounted for 63% of the total jobs, globally
- The solar photovoltaic industry retains the top spot
- It has 33% of the total renewable energy workforce
Some 137,400 jobs have been created in Bangladesh's solar home systems, representing about 80% of the total installed solar capacity, according to the latest figures released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Tuesday.
Bangladesh stands fifth among 161 countries in renewable energy jobs. China accounts for 2.2 million jobs, half of the global employment, followed by Japan, the United States, and India.
The report says most employment in the sector in Bangladesh occured in sales, installation and maintenance. Some 10,000 people are also employed in module assembly.
Currently, there are 5.8 million solar home systems in the country that generate around 327.14 megawatts of electricity in the country's off-grid area.
The agency's latest annual review of renewable energy and jobs confirms a long-term growth trend and strong policy action essential to ensuring continued employment expansion in the Covid-19 era.
Meanwhile, the report shows that jobs in the sector reached 11.5 million globally last year, led by solar photovoltaic with some 3.8 million jobs – or a one-third of the total.
"Adopting renewables creates jobs and boosts local income in both developed and developing energy markets," said IRENA's Director-General Francesco La Camera. "While today we see a handful of countries in the lead, each country can harness its renewable potential, take steps to leverage local capabilities for industrial development, and train its workers."
Ben Backwell, chief executive officer at Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said, "Spending $1 million on renewables creates three times more jobs than spending on fossil fuels."
Salima Jahan, member (Renewable Energy) at the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda), told The Business Standard that they are continuously working on promoting renewable energy in the country.
"We are doing all from our level to make a favorable environment for renewable energy. Sreda has been conducting workshops and trainings at different stockholders' levels to make people understand the benefits of renewable energy," she said.
Currently, there are 32 grid-connected solar projects both in the private and public sectors at the under-construction level. The project would be able to generate around 2,000 megawatts of electricity after they come into operation.
Last year, 65% of all jobs in renewables were recorded in Asia, confirming the region's status as a market leader, the new report reveals. Jobs in biofuels followed closely behind solar photovoltaic, reaching 2.5 million.
Many of these jobs are in the agricultural supply chain – particularly in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand – with labour-intensive operations. Other large employers in the renewables sector are the hydropower and wind industries, with close to two million and 1.2 million jobs, respectively.
Renewable energy jobs have shown more inclusion and a better gender balance than fossil fuels. The report highlights that women held 32% of total renewables jobs, as opposed to 21% of fossil fuel jobs.
The 2020 edition of the Annual Review highlights promising initiatives to support the education and training of workers. Such efforts revolve around: vocational training, curricula-building, teacher training, the use of information and communications technology, the promotion of innovative public-private partnerships, and the recruitment of under-represented groups such as women.
IRENA is the lead intergovernmental agency for the energy transformation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future.
With 161 Members (160 States and the European Union), IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.