Earlier this year, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) released a report highlighting last year’s impressive job growth in America’s various clean energy industries. These industries increased the workers they employed in nearly every state in 2018.
In total, 110,000 net new jobs were added last year, accounting for an industry-wide growth rate of 3.6 percent. The report’s findings show that clean energy jobs employed over 3.26 million Americans at the year’s end. Now clean jobs outnumber those in the fossil fuel industry at a rate of nearly three to one (3.26M to 1.17M). E2 cites employers in the clean energy sector, saying they anticipate 6 percent job growth for 2019.
Energy Efficiency led industry job top lines at 2.3 million jobs last year. Renewable energy came in second at half a million jobs. The solar and wind power industries came in third and fourth place, employing 330,000 and 111,000 workers, respectively.
Two of the lesser known industries that saw record job growth last year are energy storage (14 percent) and clean vehicles (15 percent). The private sector was the prime factor driving growth in these industries, as consumers embraced electric vehicle (EV) technology and prices fell for batteries and solar-storage installations.
A few of the report’s other highlights include:
- Solar alone employs more than twice the number of coal workers
- Wind and solar account for nearly 2 out of every 5 construction jobs in the electric generation sector
- Jobs in grid modernization grew 3.3 percent in 2018, adding more than 2,000 jobs
- More Americans work in energy efficiency (2.3 million) than there are waiters and waitresses in America’s bars and restaurants (2.25 million)
- All but two of America’s 3,007 counties are home to jobs in clean energy
- More than one out of every three employees working in the energy sector (from traditional energy to motor vehicles) are involved in energy efficiency
- After two years of losses, solar energy employers predict 8 percent job growth for 2019
- Two-thirds of U.S. clean energy jobs (67 percent) are involved in construction and manufacturing
- There are now more Americans working in clean energy than there are school teachers
“The 3.3 million Americans who now work in clean energy industries – and all of us – are counting on Congress to take action that helps this giant sector continue to expand our economy. America’s ability to lead the world in innovation and compete globally in this booming market depends on it,” said Bob Keefe, E2 executive director.
Following the report release, E2 held a national webinar, elaborating on the reports findings.
In addition to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s latest news that they have reached over 2 million installs nationwide, this job report is great news for all clean energy advocates. We’re seeing an increase not only in jobs but of adoption of cleaner sources of energy, which benefits our economy and our environment.