Large Hydropower Supports 1.3 Million Jobs Worldwide

Green Technology – Large Hydropower Supports 1.3 Million Jobs

Large Hydropower Supports 1.3 Million Jobs

According to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), large hydropower supports roughly 1.3 million direct jobs worldwide.

Considered a conservative estimate, the number comes from the Renewable Energy and Jobs 2016 Annual Review. Surprisingly, the number actually represents a decline in jobs for large hydropower. The report cited increased mechanization, slowing housing markets, the removal of subsidies and the drop in new installations as factors in the decline.

According to IRENA, there are more than 1,300 hydropower companies around the world that manufacture various products and services.

Domestically, the U.S. hydropower industry currently employs around 300,000 workers, from project development and manufacturing to facilities operations and maintenance. An accelerated estimate shows that the industry could grow exponentially in the next 10 years. Navigant Consulting recently conducted a study and found that 1.4 million cumulative jobs could be created by hydropower by 2025 when policies such as a renewable electricity standard are deployed. The National Hydropower Association has a graphic breakdown of the predicted job growth as well as a link to the full study.

Hydropower makes up a small portion of the 8.1 million people employed in renewable energy worldwide. The industry overall saw a 5 percent increase in employment from last year, with solar photovoltaic the largest at 2.8 million jobs. The United States has the third most jobs in renewable energy worldwide.

In a release from IRENA, Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said, “The continued job growth in the renewable energy sector is significant because it stands in contrast to trends across the energy sector. This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks. We expect this trend to continue as the business case for renewables strengthens and as countries move to achieve their climate targets agreed in Paris.”

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