EMPLOY Guidelines

EMPLOY Guidelines

Annex 2

Step-by-step guidelines for calculating employment effects of renewable energy investments


The importance of renewable energy in energy systems is increasing at an impressive rate, and the expectation is that this tendency will continue in the longer term. As a consequence, there is a strong need for reliable insight into the employment benefits from renewable energy. The current knowledge on the economic impacts of large-scale deployment of renewable energy technologies is more or less derived on an ad hoc basis and consists of a variety of different methodologies with different objectives. This is why the International Energy Agency’s Implementing Agreement on Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD) aims to facilitate a more structural approach, contributing to reliable and consistent insights into employment effects from deployment of renewable energy technologies. Against this background, the EMPLOY project, to which IRENA contributed, was initiated to develop a set of methodological guidelines for estimating the employment impacts of renewable energy use in a coherent, uniform and systematic way.


The objectives of the EMPLOY-EID project were to:

  • Provide guidelines based on a thorough review of best practices, which are able to contribute to a consistent, reliable framework in which to measure employment effects from renewable energy deployment and which can be replicated from one country to another;
  • Identify data sources and/or inputs required in the application of such guidelines;
  • Provide better understanding of key parameters and mechanisms that determine contribution of renewable energy employment;
  • Assess availability of sources for employment benefit data for all RETD member countries as well as other relevant countries;
  • Provide concrete gross employment benefit data to countries where data is available through application of the guidelines and best practices;
  • Document the economic effects of renewable energy deployment through a publishable brochure of the main project results, presentations, the guidelines and background report.

The EMPLOY project aimed to help achieve the IEA-RETD’s objective to “empower policy makers and energy market actors through the provision of information, tools and resources” by underlining the economic and industrial impacts of renewable energy technology deployment and providing reliable methodological approaches for employment – similar to those available for the incumbent energy technologies.


EMPLOY guidelines: the EMPLOY project resulted in a comprehensive set of methodological guidelines for estimating the employment impacts of renewable energy deployment in a coherent, uniform and systematic way. Guidelines were prepared for four different methodological approaches. In the introduction section of the guidelines policy makers are guided in their choice for the most suited approach, depending on the policy questions to be answered, the data availability and budget.

Annex with country calculations: the guidelines were tested for the IEA-RETD member state countries and Tunisia. The results of these calculations are included in the annex to the guidelines.

Report with overview of approaches to assess employment effects: the EMPLOY guidelines are based on a broad review of the approaches to assess employment impacts of renewable energy deployment. The report on employment impact assessment studies presents an overview of the existing gross and net approaches being used to analyse the employment impacts of renewable energy. The report provides insight into the basics of the used methods, the methodological issues, advantages and disadvantages of various methods, data requirements and procedures to collect the data.


Future users of the EMPLOY guidelines are kindly requested to share their experiences with us. A feedback form can be downloaded from this website, which can be returned to iea_retd@ecofys.com. Otherwise the Operating Agent can also be contacted for sharing feedback through iea_retd@ecofys.com.


The EMPLOY guidelines, the annex with country calculations and a feedback form for future users of the EMPLOY guidelines, the Task 1 report with an overview of assessment approaches, a PowerPoint presentation and a policy brief can be downloaded.