India accounts for 19% of global hydropower jobs

China leads with 35% share of hydropower employment, globally


India is only second to China when it comes to jobs in the hydropower space. While China accounts for 35 per cent of hydropower employment, globally, India accounts for 19 per cent.

The four main players in this space are China, Brazil, Canada and the US. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), about 2.49 million individuals were directly employed in the sector in 2022. This is 2.3 per cent higher than in 2021. Consistent with earlier findings, two thirds of the direct jobs are in the area of operations and maintenance (O&M), while 30 per cent of the jobs pertain to construction and installation activities. About six per cent of the employment is generated in the area of component manufacturing. The remaining jobs are in O&M services, accounting for the smallest proportion of the workforce.

As per the 2022 Hydropower Status Report, in 2021, the global installed hydropower capacity rose by 26 gigawatt (GW) to 1360 GW. While it is true that 4,250 terawatt hour (TWh) of clean electricity was generated from hydropower, which is one and a half times the entire electricity consumption of the European Union, this growth will not suffice in order to meet net zero targets. While China leads in terms of hydropower employment, India comes in second with Brazil, Viet Nam and Pakistan following in that order to form the top five.

In the renewable energy space, hydropower boasts of a global capacity of over 1255 GW as of 2022. That means a good 37 per cent of the global total renewable energy capacity. Total installed hydropower capacity is more than that of wind and solar photovoltaic (PV), although additions per year have come down to about 20.5 GW in 2022.

In 2022, about 13.7 million direct and indirect jobs were generated in the renewable energy space. A record addition of 191.4 GW of solar PV capacity worldwide was made in 2022, which was higher than 141.2 GW in 2021. While 45 per cent of these installations (86 GW) was accounted for by China, the US, India and Brazil ranked second, third and fourth. Others in the top ten were The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Spain, Australia and the Republic of Korea in that order.

China made up for about 56 per cent of PV employment, globally, that is, about 2.76 million jobs. For the US, this figure stood at 2,64.?000 jobs in 2022. In Europe, PV jobs were about 5,40,?000 in 2022 of which 5,17,?000 jobs were in the member states of the EU. In India, the total solar jobs are about 2,81,?400. On-grid solar has reportedly given rise to 2,01,400 jobs, with about 80,600 off-grid jobs. Brazil managed to reach 2,41,000 jobs in this space by increasing the number of solar PV installations in the country. Japan has about 1,27,000 people working in this space having added lesser capacity in 2021 than in 2020.

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