Saudi Arabia records 22m cultural visits in 2022

Saudi Arabia records 22m cultural visits in 2022
Saudi Arabia records 22m cultural visits in 2022

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Clean energy sector employment outpacing fossil fuel industry, but workforce concerns remain: IEA

RIYADH: Clean energy sector jobs have increased 20.27 percent since 2019 to hit 36.2 million while employment in the fossil fuel industry remains below pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report.

The International Energy Agency’s latest analysis shows the number of workers in the green fuel sector in 2023 is 5.2 million higher than those in the non-renewable industry, keeping with the global transition to sustainability.

However, the agency expressed concern about the slow filling of vacancies in the clean energy sector despite fossil fuel workers having the skills and specializations needed to fill the roles.

“The unprecedented acceleration that we have seen in clean energy transitions is creating millions of new job opportunities all over the world – but these are not being filled quickly enough,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

He added: “Governments, industry and educational institutions need to put in place programs to deliver the expertise needed in the energy sector to keep pace with growing demand, particularly to manufacture and build the clean energy projects necessary to meet our energy and climate goals.”

IEA confirmed the number of people employed in the energy sector globally stands at 68.3 million, growing by 3.4 million from pre-pandemic levels.  

The report noted that investments in clean energy increased by 40 percent in the last two years, creating a strong demand from leading energy firms to recruit additional workers in the renewable energy sector.

Despite this growth, the agency warned that global economic headwinds and geopolitical uncertainties continue to cast a shadow over the outlook for the energy industry and workers.  

“Some regions continue to face tight labor markets and high interest rates, contributing to cautious hiring in parts of the energy sector,” said IEA.  

The report noted that five sectors – solar photovoltaic, wind, heat pumps, electric vehicles and battery manufacturing, and critical minerals mining – employ over 9 million people worldwide.

“Solar PV is the largest of these sectors, at around 4 million jobs, while manufacturing of EVs and their batteries was the largest source of growth, adding globally well over 1 million jobs since 2019,” added the report.  

IEA further noted that the world is witnessing an uptick in jobs in the clean energy sector. China is leading from the front as the Asian giant employs nearly 30 percent of the global renewable energy workforce.  

“Today, 60 percent of China’s energy workforce is employed in clean sectors, compared to just over 50 percent in 2019. China’s clean energy manufacturing sectors employ roughly 3 million workers, accounting for 80 percent of solar PV and EV battery manufacturing jobs globally,” said IEA.

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