Renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean energy are continuing to drive employment growth in the US. The midwest alone now has 599,775 people employed in the clean energy industry, according to new figures from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Their analysis shows that employment in the sector has risen by 30,000 jobs, an increase of 5 percent since 2015—five times faster than overall job growth in the region.
The new analysis at www.CleanJobsMidwest.com used Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the midwest region of 12 states including Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It covered a variety of clean energy job sectors including renewable energy, grid modernization, energy efficiency as well as clean fuels and advanced transportation.
"The Midwest has witnessed declining manufacturing employment over the years and this report highlights the important role of clean energy jobs in filling the gap for the region's workforce," said Erik Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. "We're optimistic that this growth engine can continue unabated as the Midwest continues to prove it is a fertile region for clean energy innovation, enabling businesses to launch, grow and create jobs."
The largest clean energy employer in the region continued to be energy efficiency jobs, which now employ 442,319 people in the region. Across the county it supports 1.9 million jobs, according to previous research from E2. Those jobs include installing high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, hardware and software implementers and system technicians. However, renewable energy jobs, including wind, solar, geothermal and more saw the biggest increase in employment, growing by more than 15 percent in the past year alone to 80,752 positions, according to the organizations.
"The solar energy sector is an important and growing part of the Midwest's economy, and like many other industries benefits from regulatory certainty and is harmed by uncertainty," said Steve Peplin, CEO of Cleveland-based Talan Products. "Good, stable policies can provide more good jobs in Ohio and affordable solar energy for consumers."
"States are leading the clean energy revolution in America," said Bob Keefe, E2 executive director. "The Midwest has quickly become a clean energy job hub, with every state seeing job growth. This is the result of pioneering businesses aided in part by smart state and federal policies.” Keefe pointed out the importance of clean energy policies to ensuring the US remains globally competitive.Tweet