At a time when the American economy is slowly recovering from recession, the clean energy and energy efficiency industries continue to outpace other sectors. From April to June — in only three months — nearly 60 clean energy projects were either announced or launched in 26 states, and these projects have opened up an estimated 38,600 green jobs.
The growth is both steady and diverse as the clean energy industry, the energy efficiency sector and the public transportation sector all grew. Plus, their growth is set to continue and even top last year’s numbers, as these industries are on pace to create a total of more than 110,000 jobs this year.
The break down of job growth shows that the solar industry is in the lead, with the creation of more than 10,000 jobs in Q2. Public transportation and smart transmission projects followed closely behind renewables, adding 9,600 and 8,200 jobs respectively. Energy efficiency created 5,700 new jobs, and the wind industry rounded out the pack by adding about 2,500 jobs.
America’s transition to a clean energy economy is well underway and powering a wide range of jobs across the nation. One quarter of clean energy jobs are in the manufacturing sector, and come with wages about 13% higher than the U.S. median.
This continued growth in the clean energy sector demonstrates that clean energy is an investment that pays while reducing the social and economic risks of climate change. Current market trends indicate that 25% of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by 2018, exceeding the capacity of natural gas. If this steady rate of renewables growth continues, not only would more jobs be created worldwide, but concentrations of greenhouse gases could be held to levels that avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) provides an independent, nonpartisan resource for understanding the business perspective on environmental issues. E2 produces quarterly reports on the clean energy and clean transportation sectors, including state-by-state breakdowns.