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There are no quick fixes to long-term energy challenges. To find solutions, governments and industry benefit from sharing resources and accelerating results. For this reason the IEA enables independent groups of experts - the Energy Technology Initiatives, or ETIs1.


Preliminary results of the Gross IO modelling approach, one of the models used to analyse the link between renewables deployment and employment.

Renewables deployment increases employment

Policy context
Security of supply and the need for long-term, stable energy prices could be alleviated through greater deployment of renewable energy technologies. Heat and electricity from renewable sources can reduce health and environmental impacts as well as greenhouse gas emissions. However, increased understanding of the socio-economic issues related to renewables is needed. Policies and measures to support deployment of renewable energy sources include a stable policy framework, financial and fiscal incentives, continued R&D to lower costs, educational programmes for professionals and the trades, and consumer information campaigns.

The goals of the ETI focusing on renewables deployment policies (RETD) are to identify the main barriers to deployment and provide advice and best practice guidance to policy makers and the private sector. This includes identifying barriers to deployment and providing best-practice solutions to remove them; offering guidance to the private sector and policy makers on innovative business strategies and projects, for example by fostering public-private partnerships; and facilitating ongoing international dialogue and public awareness of renewable energy deployment through concrete examples of deployment solutions. There are currently nine Contracting Parties.

The understanding of the economics of large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies and the impacts on sectors of the economy is based on differing objectives and analytical tools. For this reason, the RETD set out to create a more structural approach aimed at gathering case studies of policy frameworks and methodologies used to estimate the effects of renewable energy use on employment.

The RETD EMPLOY project developed a set of coherent, consistent methodological guidelines for estimating the employment impacts of renewable energy. The main body of the report includes an overview of assessment approaches, while guidelines and case studies for each RETD participating country and Tunisia were synthesised in an annex to the report.

The study provided a consistent, reliable framework in which to measure employment effects from renewable energy deployment, which may be replicated from one country to another.

Policy makers are guided in their choice for the most suitable approach, depending on the policy goals to be achieved, the data availability and budget allocation. Guidelines were prepared for four different methodological approaches. The report provides insight into the basics of the methods used, the methodological issues, advantages and disadvantages of various methods, data requirements and procedures to collect the data.

Although results are difficult to compare across countries, renewable energy technologies have been shown to have a positive effect on both jobs and the economy. Based on these results, the report includes recommendations for policy makers. This project was executed in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Current projects

  • Communication techniques and experiences to communicate about renewable energies
  • Crucial assumptions and methodological issues of energy scenarios
  • Next generation of renewable energy policy instruments for electricity generation
  • Policies and incentives along the innovation chain
  • Policy instruments to support renewable energy industrial value chain development
  • ‘True’ costs for fossil, nuclear and renewable

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1.Information or material of the IEA Energy Technology Initiatives, or ETIs (formally organised under the auspices of an Implementing Agreement), including information or material published on this website, does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of the IEA’s individual Member countries. The IEA does not make any representation or warranty (express or implied) in respect of such information (including as to its completeness, accuracy or non-infringement) and shall not be held liable for any use of, or reliance on, such information.