Large hydropower supports about 1.3 million direct jobs worldwide, according to a recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
This number, from the Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2016, is considered a conservative estimate, IRENA says. However, the report also says that jobs in large and small hydropower, liquid biofuels and solar heating and cooling decreased due to various factors, including increased mechanization, slowing housing markets, the removal of subsidies and the drop in new installations.
Broadly, the report indicates more than 8.1 million people are now employed worldwide by the renewable energy industry, a 5% increase from last year. Solar photovoltaic was the largest renewable energy employer with 2.8 million jobs, followed by liquid biofuels with 1.7 million. Countries with the most renewable energy jobs in 2015 included China, Brazil, the U.S., India, Japan and Germany.