From rooftop solar installers to technicians retrofitting your home HVAC and environmentally conscious city planners, more than 3.2 million Americans are now working in “clean energy” by the start of 2022. And while California remains a leader, hiring extended red and political states blue from all regions.
That’s a total of jobs up 5% from the previous year, according to the nonprofit – and as it claims, nonpartisan – advocacy organization E2, which stands for Environmental Entrepreneurs.
“This data shows that clean energy jobs aren’t red state jobs or blue state jobs – they’re red, white and blue jobs,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. .
Year-over-year growth would have been stronger if not for the uncertainty brought by wavering lawmakers in Washington mulling incentives for solar power, heat pumps, electric vehicles (EVs) and more, said E2, which advocated for a federal move on clean energy incentives. .
This weekend, the Senate advanced the health care, climate and tax package seemingly left for dead after a marathon session, a slimmed down version of what was once labeled Build Back Better and is now called the law. on reducing inflation.
The House, where Democrats also hold a narrow majority, will vote on Friday. No Republicans voted “yes” as GOP senators argued the measure would not solve soaring inflation but would drive Americans up with higher taxes. The bill would earmark $369 billion for climate policies such as tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles, and to address the impact of pollution on low-income communities.
Related: Here’s how the Reducing Inflation Act rebates and tax credits for heat pumps and solar can lower your energy bill
And: Thinking of an EV? First-ever tax credit of $4,000 for used electric vehicles and $7,500 for new vehicles nears approval
President Biden has argued that clean energy and the technology needed to produce it can be a boon to American jobs. Already, the broader labor market has remained tight, favoring job seekers, even as rumors of a recession mount. The strong job market – recent data showed the unemployment rate has returned to pre-pandemic lows – could help more workers explore growth areas such as green energy and other areas of concern of the climate.
As for the E2 report, the growth extended to all clean energy sub-sectors. These subsectors include renewable energy, such as wind power, solar ICLN,
and geothermal, energy efficiency, electric TSLA,
and TM hybrid vehicle,
parts and manufacturing, as well as the modernization of the DUK electrical network,
Conversely, traditional fossil uses from coal, CL00 oil,
and natural gas NG00,
sectors fell 4%, E2 says, using Department of Energy jobs data in its analysis.
Lily: Don’t rule out natural gas in clean energy transition, trade group says
E2 began tracking nationwide employment across the clean energy sector in 2015. The E2 site allows viewers to search by zip code to gauge the strength of jobs in the clean energy in their region.
“Well-paying clean energy jobs are now an important part of every state’s economy, regardless of politics, location, or anything else,” said Troy Van Beek, co-founder and CEO of Iowa-based solar developer Ideal Energy.
The estimated probable total salary in the renewable energy industry, according to Glassdoor, is $131,337 per year in the United States, with an average salary of $96,438 per year. These numbers represent the median, which is the midpoint of Glassdoor’s “total compensation” model ranges. Additional compensation may include cash bonuses, commissions, tips and profit sharing.
This state (and it’s not California) had the strongest percentage growth in clean jobs
Every state saw an increase in clean energy jobs, with California continuing to lead the nation with more than 505,000 new jobs (up 4%). Traditional and alternative energy producer Texas, which led the nation in solar and wind energy projects in 2021, followed with 239,000 clean energy jobs (up 7%).
And New York, which has spent what some would say is the most
ambitious climate policies in the country in 2019, and in 2021 made major announcements in offshore wind and building efficiency, remains third in the country with 160,600 jobs (up 5%).
The list fills in from there with, in order: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
New Mexico, meanwhile, saw the strongest percentage growth in clean energy jobs last year after adopting clean energy policies, E2 said, calling them “some of the most promises of the country”. Growth also accelerated in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana and Idaho.
Parts and assembly of electric vehicles
Clean vehicles were the big story in 2022. Jobs in electric vehicle construction rose 26% from a year earlier, according to E2.
The report covers the period leading up to the announcement this summer that electric pickup truck maker Rivian RIVN,
which has Amazon.com AMZN,
support, would lay off 6% of its workforce, but not at its Illinois plant.
Many Republican-led states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Texas and Tennessee, have benefited greatly from the expansion of electric vehicles and other clean transportation makers, and would also benefit from vehicle tax credits. utilities included in the Cut Inflation Act, even though their representation in Washington tends to vote against such measures, Keefe said.
Lily: More right-wing Americans are concerned about climate change, but aren’t ready to give up gas stoves
In the bill about to be passed by Congress, new electric vehicles must include a battery containing a large percentage of components made or assembled in North America in order to qualify for the incentives.
Not to be outdone, small businesses, the backbone of the US economy, continue to employ the majority of the clean energy workforce.
About 90% of all jobs in the clean energy sector were in companies that employed fewer than 100 workers, according to E2. The organization has released seven consecutive reports (read the latest) assessing the business opportunities of what some see as the next industrial revolution.
“Politics matters. The Cut Inflation Act would make it more affordable for more Americans to drive electric vehicles, which means more opportunities for small businesses like mine to continue to grow,” said Ariel Fan, Founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based electric car charging company GreenWealth Energy. .