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More Jobs than Workers: Clean Energy Jobs 2019

Further to our May 8 post on the new USEER Report, we want to highlight the excellent work that E2 has done in parsing and synthesizing data from the broader USEER Report to quantify clean energy jobs within the broader energy industry. In their recently released Clean Jobs America 2019 study, E2 breaks down total jobs across seven sub-sectors. In all, clean energy jobs were up to nearly 3.3 million jobs in 2018, growing at 3.6% from 2017 (Energy Futures Initiative puts the total number of clean energy jobs at more than 3.5 million).

Here's a look at how these jobs break down across clean energy sectors:

  • Energy Efficiency – 2,324,865 jobs

  • Renewable Energy – 508,484 jobs

  • Solar Energy – 334,992 jobs

  • Wind Energy – 111,166 jobs

  • Clean Vehicle – 253,599 jobs

  • Clean Storage – 74,569 jobs

  • Grid Modernization – 64,377 jobs

And growth in clean energy jobs is being led in states that you might not expect, with Nevada and Kentucky at the front of the pack (infographic courtesy of Climate Nexus):

Clean Energy Job Growth States

Philip Jordan of the BW Research Partnership who led the research efforts behind this report points out that growth in the energy efficiency sector is constrained by labor availability. While young people have less interest in construction, which is the largest segment of energy jobs, there is strong overall interest in clean energy careers. Growth may be constrained, but energy efficiency has managed to add 275,000 jobs in the past three years. Research behind these data comes from survey data modeled on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys of more than 30,000 employers across the U.S.

Employers are bullish on clean energy jobs in 2019, with projected growth rates in renewable generation of 7.1% and 7.8% in energy efficiency (EFI). But this growth may be constrained by difficulty in hiring, as noted above. In fact, nearly 80% of employers in these sectors noted having difficulty in finding workers. While this may hamper clean energy growth in 2019, it's great news if you are skilled in construction and related trades, such as HVAC installation, plumbing, roofing, and electrical. Pat Stanton of E4theFuture points out that 1 in 6 U.S. constructions jobs (17%) are in energy efficiency. E4theFuture has produced "Faces of EE," which profiles the variety of energy efficiency jobs across the country.

Faces of Energy Efficiency

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