Nearly 10 million people worldwide were employed in the renewable energy industry during 2016, according to a new report.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said the total had risen from seven million in 2012 thanks to falling costs and government policies to promote renewables.

Stripping out the number of people working directly in large-scale the 2016 total stood at 8.3 million.

Solar power accounted for the largest share of the total, at 3.1 million.

‘24m by 2030’

China employed the most people in its renewables industry, with 3.6 million workers.

IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin said: “Renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives, with employment creation increasingly recognised as a central component of the global energy transition.

“As the scales continue to tip in favour of renewables, we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world.”

> Read the report