The rise in clean energy means more U.S. jobs

America’s clean energy industry – from wind turbines to solar panels, home energy to energy efficiency – is booming.

Between 2004 and 2015, U.S. investment in clean energy soared from an impressive $10 billion to $56 billion.

These gains are creating millions of homegrown, quality jobs, with 2.7 million people already working in clean energy.

Clean energy jobs span the U.S.

The work includes a wide range of opportunities, including manufacturing and installing solar panels, building windmills, auditing energy efficiency, developing smart energy apps and more.

And in this changing energy economy, we see clean energy jobs in every state.

Texas, for example, produces more wind power than most countries and hosts nearly a quarter of America’s wind jobs.

Wind job distribution by state

Wind job distribution by state

Source: The Wind Energy Association, 2015
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Wind and solar jobs growing fast

Today, nearly 102,000 Americans work in wind and more than 260,000 work in solar. Together, that’s more than three times the number of people who work in coal.

Wind has grown an average of 12 percent annually over the last five years. Solar has risen at rates of about 20 percent annually in recent years, creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy.

While wind and solar resources – and the policies governing them – vary across the U.S., most states boast a strong job market for at least one of these leading technologies.

Solar job distribution by state

Solar job distribution by state

Source: The Solar Foundation, 2015
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Energy efficiency employs millions

Today, 1.9 million Americans are employed, in whole or in part, by the energy efficiency products and services industry. Almost 1.2 million of those jobs are in construction.

These are well-paying jobs that can’t be shipped overseas. And they’re jobs perfectly suited for manufacturing workers who are pinched by today’s economy.

If you add jobs that improve the efficiency of traditional industries – for example, the engineers improving fuel efficiency of automobiles – the economic impact of clean energy is even larger.

Energy efficiency job distribution by state

Energy efficiency job distribution by state

Source: Environmental Entrepreneurs, 2016
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