The new USEER report is out, and the results for clean energy are somewhat mixed with strong growth in sectors like energy storage and declines in solar jobs. The 2019 USEER report was produced by a joint effort between between the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI is headed by former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). Many other organizations and individuals contribute to the annual report, including Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), which will use the report as the data backbone for its forthcoming Clean Jobs America reports, which break down clean energy jobs in specific states and regions across the U.S.
The USEER report highlights jobs data across the range of 53 technologies and seven energy sectors, from utilities to fuels and from wind power to energy efficiency and everything in-between. We encourage readers to check out the full report, or at least the key findings (pages 2-7). Here are a few data points of note:
-Battery storage added over 9,500 new jobs for an 18% growth rate in 2018.
-There were an additional 111,000 workers employed at wind energy firms across the nation in 2018, an increase of 3.5 percent or 3,700 jobs.
-Solar employment declined for the second year in a row despite adding an additional 11.06 gigawatts of capacity. The number of employees who spend the majority of their time on solar declined by 3.2% or more than 8,000 jobs to 242,300 in 2018. A major factor in this decline is the Trump administration's imposed solar tariffs on Chinese-imported solar PV units, which had the effect of delaying or canceling $8billion in U.S. utility solar projects.
-Interestingly, this decline is on pace with the continued decline in total coal jobs of 3.2% in 2018, down to a total of 197,418.
-Alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles employment experienced a significant rebound from a year earlier adding 34,000 to a total of 254,000 jobs, driven by release of the Tesla Model 3.
-Energy Efficiency employed 2.35 million Americans, in whole or in part, in the design, installation, and manufacture of Energy Efficiency products and services, adding 76,000 net jobs in 2018 (3.4%). Energy Efficiency employers projected the highest growth rate in 2019 (7.8%).
Like many of these green job sectors in a low unemployment environment, energy efficiency related firms are facing difficulties in hiring. This is good news if you are looking for a job in energy efficiency. The table below illustrates the difficulty in hiring by job type.
The USEER report does not track other sustainability jobs, such as corporate sustainability, clean tech, non-profit, or state, federal and local environmental and energy jobs.