Report: 2.5 Million Americans Work in Clean Energy

Report: 2.5 Million Americans Work in Clean Energy

The clean energy job market is booming, according to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The report, titled Clean Jobs America, estimates that more than 2.5 million people now work in clean energy in the U.S.

E2 created the report in partnership with the research team at BW Research Partnership based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Energy. As part of the analysis, more than 20,000 businesses were surveyed nationwide.

Which sector accounted for the most clean energy jobs? Energy efficiency came in at the top spot — the sector includes workers who manufacture efficient appliances, create energy efficient materials and insulation and install efficient lighting products, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) workers specifically focused on energy-efficient projects and products.

Renewable energy generation ranked as the No. 2 top employer, with solar energy and wind energy making up the majority of current jobs.

Here's a closer look, by the numbers:

  • The energy efficiency sector accounts for nearly three out of every four American clean energy jobs, or 1.9 million workers
  • Renewable energy generation employs nearly 414,000 people.
  • About 300,000 of renewable energy workers are employed by solar energy businesses.
  • More than 77,000 people work in the wind energy industry.

More Clean Energy Jobs to Come

Growth in clean energy jobs is expected to continue, thanks to the Clean Power Plan, global carbon-reduction commitments in Paris, and the renewed tax credits for wind and solar power.

According to The Solar Foundation, the U.S. solar industry had a 20 percent job growth rate for the third consecutive year in 2015. Even more impressive is the fact that the industry has added more than 115,000 jobs since 2010 — a job creation rate that's 12 times higher than what the rest of the economy experienced during the same time frame.

The wind energy industry is also expected to see strong growth in the coming years. About 75 GW of wind energy are currently installed across the country, according to the report. And, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind energy technician is the currently fastest growing occupation in the country.

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