Clean energy jobs rise for third year in a row

For business

2018 was a banner year for clean energy jobs in the U.S., according to a recent analysis by nonpartisan group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Jobs in the clean energy sector – which includes renewables, grid modernization, energy efficiency, and clean vehicles and storage – have been on the rise since 2016 and now outnumber fossil fuel jobs three to one.

Some other important numbers:

  • 110,000 new clean energy jobs were added in 2018.
  • A 6 percent lift.
  • That brings the industry total to roughly 3.3 million jobs across the U.S.

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Clean energy jobs by industry

Energy efficiency jobs, including ENERGY STAR® and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) workers, advanced building material workers and efficient lighting experts, account for more than 2.3 million of clean energy jobs in the U.S. The renewable energy industries employ another 508,484 workers, nearly 335,000 of which are in the solar industry.

clean energy jobs breakdown

After nearly a decade of growth, the solar industry saw a 4.2 percent decline in jobs in 2018, in part due to rising tariffs on steel and solar panels. However, experts predict that the solar industry will bounce back in 2019 with projected job growth of 8 percent.

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Spurred by growing popularity and demand, the clean vehicle industry saw a 16 percent increase in jobs from 2017, bringing the industry total to roughly 254,000. Increased research and funding has placed similar emphasis on the clean energy storage industry; the number of jobs in clean storage rose 14 percent in 2018.

Clean Energy Industry Number of U.S. Jobs
Total Clean Energy Sector 3,264,383
Energy Efficiency 2,324,865
Renewable Energy 508,484
Solar Energy 334,992
Clean Vehicles 253,599
Wind Energy 111,166
Clean Storage 74,569
Grid Modernization 64,377

Top states for clean energy jobs

California (512,934) and Texas (233,447) take the top spots for total clean energy jobs, which is not a surprise given the states’ dedication to solar and wind industries. Florida, New York and Michigan round out the top five states for clean energy jobs.

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Again, the E2 report expands on the topic below:

top states for clean energy jobs

States with biggest clean energy job growth

While the states above account for roughly 1.2 million of the country’s clean energy jobs, many other states are looking to grow their clean energy workforce. The following states had the highest rate of growth in the clean energy sector:

State 2017 Clean Energy Jobs 2018 Clean Energy Jobs % Growth
Nevada 24,322 32,211 32.43%
Kentucky 35,479 38,015 7.15%
Oklahoma 20,564 22,025 7.10%
Pennsylvania 85,608 90,772 6.03%
Kansas 23,070 24,350 5.54%

top 5 states for percent job growth

Images sourced from E2 Clean Jobs America

 

Gabriella is a North Carolina-based writer covering topics related to the energy industry and the environment. A Sunshine State native, Gabriella graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in English.