2.3m workers in renewable energy sector

Some 2.3 million people work in the renewable energy industry or supplier industries across the planet, according to a new report.

The World Watch Institute said while the renewable energy industry was growing, the coal, oil and natural gas sectors were downsizing year after year, with high-cost production equipment replacing workers.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the UK, US, China, Germany and South Africa in the last two decades, the WWI said in its Vital Signs Update report.

"Renewables are poised to tackle our energy crisis and create millions of new jobs worldwide," according to senior researcher Michael Renner.

"Meanwhile, fossil fuel jobs are increasingly becoming fossils themselves, as coal mining communities and others worry about their livelihoods."

The WWI said Germany, Spain and Denmark in renewable energy development and green jobs as a result of strong government support.

Across the planet, the solar thermal industry employs at least 624,000 people last year, with workers in the wind power industry reaching 300,000.

More than one million people work in the biomass and biofuels sector, the US think tank said.

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