The year 2013 saw record-breaking growth for solar electricity generation as the photovoltaic and concentrated solar thermal power markets continued to grow. With over 39 gigawatts installed worldwide, the PV solar market represented one third of all newly-added renewable energy capacity, according to Max Lander and Xiangyu Wu writing in the latest number of the Worldwatch Institute's Vital Signs Online publication.
There may now be as many as 6.5 million direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy, according to updated data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Earlier assessments had put the global estimate at 2.3 million jobs in 2008 (United Nations Environment Programme) and at 5 million jobs in 2012 (International Labour Organization).
Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group is investing in its first wind farm in the U.S., joining a parade of other companies that are venturing into the renewable energy sector. The company purchased Hoopeston Wind, an energy project under construction in Illinois.