(June 10, 2020)
Much of the focus when it comes to job losses in the energy sector has been on the tens of thousands of oil and gas workers laid off due to the sharp decline in demand resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. However, over 25,000 workers in the Lone Star State’s clean energy sector also find themselves out of work. In fact, clean energy job losses are on the rise nationwide.
In March, Texas lost more than 4,200 clean energy jobs. The figure rose sharply in April, with more than 20,000 layoffs. Texas was among one of the top 10 states nationwide for clean energy job losses, which by the end of April amounted to more than 594,000 nationwide. That’s about 17 percent of all clean energy employment in the U.S.
Analysis of Labour Department data showed that jobs in all areas of renewable energy were affected, from construction workers to solar panel installers, wind power engineers, manufacturing workers and technicians.
Researchers involved in gathering the data, including Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), American Council on Renewable Energy, E4TheFuture, and BW Research Partnership, estimate that up to 850,000 clean energy jobs will be lost nationwide by the end of June. “The data does not suggest that we have yet to hit the bottom,” states Phil Jordan, BW Research Partnership’s principal.
Other clean energy industries currently struggling are the energy efficiency and the clean vehicles sectors. Energy efficiency jobs alone account for some 70 percent of all clean energy layoffs to date.