Off-grid solar energy is about to experience a rapid rise in employment as isolated communities rush to get connected, a new report Thursday revealed. The technology enables power generation without traditional infrastructure, a benefit that could fuel the drive toward near-universal electricity access.
The renewable energy industry employed 11 million people globally in 2018, around 700,000 more than last year. Solar accounted for a third of those jobs, while the three million solar workers in Asia represented around 90 percent of the total solar industry. The data was published in the annual jobs review from the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Those are impressive figures, but the real standout of global solar industry growth is what’s happening off-grid. For the first time in its annual reports, the agency estimated that around 372,000 people in South Asia and parts of Africa are working in off-grid solar. That figure is expected to triple in the space of just four years.
“Rising off-grid solar sales are translating into growing numbers of jobs in the context of expanding energy access and spurring economic activities in previously isolated communities,” the report reads.