Published on Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:45 a.m.
Overall, the number of people employed in the energy sector rose to some 67 million globally in 2022, an increase of around 3.5 million from pre-pandemic levels. Growth attributable to “more than half” to transition energies (photovoltaics, wind power, electric vehicles and batteries, heat pumps and critical metals), according to the report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on the employment in this sector.
This dynamic has thus accentuated the domination of so-called clean energies in the sector, which supplanted fossil fuels in 2021.
But if this increase in jobs has affected all regions of the world, “an increasing number of energy industries cite the shortage of qualified labor as a major obstacle to the acceleration of activity”, according to a survey carried out by the IEA to 160 energy companies around the world.
The number of people working towards degrees or certifications aimed at working in the energy sector is “not keeping pace with growing demand”, according to this survey, a gap that particularly concerns specialist electricians, as well as science, technology and engineering professionals.
“The unprecedented acceleration we have seen in the clean energy transition is creating millions of job openings around the world, but they are not being filled fast enough,” lamented IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, quoted in the report.
About 36% of energy sector workers are in high-skilled jobs, compared with about 27% for the economy as a whole, the IEA estimates.
“Growing demand for workers in the clean energy sector is expected to continue, with growth in new jobs offsetting declines in fossil fuel roles in all IEA scenarios,” concludes the agency.
It thus estimates that in its “net zero emissions by 2050” roadmap, which proposes a global trajectory for the energy sector compatible with limiting global warming to +1.5°C, “around two jobs in the field clean energy would be created for every job lost in the fossil fuel sector.
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