Colorado is far from the one of the most populous states yet it’s seventh in the US in terms of renewable energy jobs, with 17,000 people working in renewable energy. The solar industry employs 8,000 people while wind employs more than 7,000. Overall the state has 57,591 people working in clean energy industries.
That’s according to local findings of a nationwide analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The analysis is part of E2’s Clean Jobs Count campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the economic benefits of clean energy in America.The report revealed some interesting facts about clean energy employment in Colorado, including that every county in Colorado has people working in the clean energy sector. The majority, however, 43,000 are in its three largest metro areas while the rural areas employ another 10,000 people in the sector.
“Clean jobs count in Colorado,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), who was on hand for the release of the new report at an E2 Rocky Mountains Chapter event in Denver. “Forging a cleaner, more efficient energy system here in Colorado isn’t just about our environment, it’s about our economy. And it’s no longer just a vision, it’s a reality.”
The majority of clean energy jobs in the state were in energy efficiency, which employed 32,036 workers, in the state. Nationally that accounts 1.4 percent of all the energy efficiency workers in the US. Interestingly E2 noted that 8,000 workers who primarily work in sectors like fossil fuels and utilities but also work with clean energy technologies weren’t included in the jobs count.
“The clean energy sector is growing fast, creating new businesses, and is already one of the biggest job creators in the state,” said Susan Nedell, E2 Rocky Mountains advocate. “With further investment and a legislature ready to embrace the opportunity, clean jobs could power Colorado’s economy into the next decade.”
One sector that will like increase quickly is in the electric vehicle (EV) spacem, which already employs about 3,000 people. While Hickenlooper announced a plan to increase EVs in Colorado by building out a statewide EV infrastructure network, at least one private company K2 Taxi in Grand Junction, is planning to transition to all EVs, for instance.
“We are switching to all EVs because it makes the most economic sense. We cut our maintenance costs in half, and with creeping fuel prices it’s costing less and less to charge our fleet in our own garage,” said Ryan Kohlman, co-founder of K2 Taxi in Grand Junction. “In just a few years, businesses everywhere will be looking to go electric. The only thing holding back Colorado right now—and the thousands of jobs that come with it—is the lack of a charging infrastructure.”
In creating it’s analysis of Colorado’s clean energy jobs market E2 used information from the recent 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) released in May by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and Energy Futures Initative (EFI). It’s the third installment of the survey formerly released by the Department of Energy but was canceled last year by the Trump administration. The Clean Jobs Count finds that there are nearly 3.2 million clean energy jobs across the US.Tweet