World Energy Employment 2023 Report

News Excerpt

Recently, The second edition of the World Energy Employment (WEE) report has been published by the International Energy Agency.

Key points

  • The report tracks the evolution of the energy workforce from before the pandemic to present, through the global energy crisis. 
  • The report presents a thorough inventory of energy employment, including estimates of labor force size and distribution across regions, industries, and technologies. 
  • The dataset provides granularity on workers across the entire energy value chain, including fossil fuel supply, bioenergy, nuclear, low-emissions hydrogen, power generation, transmission, distribution, and storage, as well as key energy-related end uses such as vehicle manufacturing and energy efficiency for buildings and industry. 
  • WEE 2023 also includes, for the first time, employment data for the extraction of important minerals such as copper, cobalt, nickel, and lithium.

About World Energy Employment Report

  • The World Energy Employment 2023 (WEE 2023) report builds on national labour statistics to provide a more comprehensive estimate of the energy workforce today and a forward view to 2030. 
  • The report considers direct jobs related to the activities outlined, including upstream roles that are correlated to energy (e.g. turbine manufacturing, but not production of cement used in the foundation).

Highlights of the report

  • According to a global report from the International Energy Agency, clean energy has exceeded traditional fossil fuel jobs (32 million) for the first time in 2021, with 35 million jobs available.
  • The report shows that clean energy jobs are steadily maintaining the lead and are also growing at more than 3.6 times the rate of fossil fuel jobs.
  • Clean energy sectors added 4.7 million jobs globally, while fossil fuel jobs recovered more slowly after layoffs in 2020 and remain around 1.3 million below pre-pandemic employment levels, the report said. 
    • However, new opportunities in clean energy outweigh job losses in fossil fuels.
  • China saw the greatest increase in clean energy job growth from 2019 to 22 and the greatest decrease in fossil fuel employment, reflecting the sheer magnitude of its energy sector.
  • Solar photovoltaic (PV) cell, wind, electric vehicle (EV) and battery production, heat pump, and essential mineral mining have accounted for more than half of the job increase in clean energy since 2019. 
    • These five sectors employ around 9 million workers and each has seen more than a 6 percent annual growth.
  • Solar PV is the largest of these sectors, with about 4 million jobs, while EV and battery production was the main driver of growth, generating well over 1 million jobs globally since 2019. 
  • Many of the new jobs are in construction and manufacturing, which account for more than half of all energy occupations today and have grown by 2.6 million since 2019.

India’s Status in World energy employment

  • In India, employment in the fossil fuel sector increased above pre-pandemic levels in 2019. On the other side, the country generated the fourth-highest number of new clean energy jobs.
  • In the 2019-22 period, India and West Asia were the only major regions to witness increases in both clean energy and fossil fuel employment.
  • Overall, India has the third-highest number of energy workers, trailing only China and the Asia-Pacific area.

Coal jobs shrinking

  • The report pointed out that global employment in the coal industry continues to contract, with the total number of jobs down to 6.2 million jobs in 2022.
  • China (51 percent), India (27 percent), and Indonesia together account for nearly 85 percent of all coal supply jobs worldwide in 2022.
    • These three countries' coal mining is less mechanized than in advanced economies. 
    • According to the analysis, China and India require almost ten times the number of workers per tonne of coal produced than Australia or the United States.

  • As labor productivity grows, Beijing and New Delhi will have to deal with the consequences of employment losses, according to the analysis.
  • In 2022, a decline in coal supply employment in China dropped. However, employment in India continues to rise slowly, "with labor productivity gains partially offsetting rising demand as the sector opens up to private sector players."
  • According to the analysis, greater coal output in advanced nations during the energy crisis did not result in extra jobs, although it did temporarily reduce the decline in coal employment.


Hence as per the reports data India is on the right path to achieve net zero and sustainable development. But some other countries have lacked in achieving targeted renewable energy. Those countries should focus on renewable energy for the better and sustainable world.


Prelims PYQ

Q. To meet its rapidly growing energy demand, some opine that India should pursue research and development on thorium as the future fuel of nuclear energy. In this context, what advantage does thorium hold over uranium? (UPSC 2012)

1) Thorium is far more abundant in nature than uranium.

2) On the basis of per unit mass of mined mineral, thorium can generate more energy compared to natural uranium.

3) Thorium produces less harmful waste compared to uranium.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a). 1 only

(b). 2 and 3 only

(c). 1 and 3 only

(d). 1, 2 and 3

Mains PYQ

Q. What are the two major legal initiatives by state since Independence, addressing discrimination against Scheduled Tribes (ST) ? (UPSC 2017)

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