Clean energy is the wave of the future; and while this is an industry leading the way in job creation during these hard financial times, there are still clouds over the horizon for the industry, a fact that everyone interested in greener renewable energy use should be aware of, and work together to eliminate.
America’s clean energy economy created nearly 80,000 green jobs in 2013; an astounding number that had finance experts scratching their head in wonder; when all other industries were stagnate, the green energy sector was growing. Of these, the most important sectors in the creation of green jobs was the solar sector, which still remains the biggest success story in America’s clean energy economy.
Other Green Energy Sectors are Following Suit
Despite the significant growth throughout the nation in the solar energy sector, other green energy industries have also seen significant job growth. For instance, U.S. public transportation created the highest number of green jobs last year, followed by clean technology manufacturing and smart grid/transmission. Wind energy was buffeted by Production Tax Credit (PTC) and notably declined, ranking down to a fifth place.
What States Have Witnessed the Most Significant Green Energy Job Growth?
- California – This state sits as the leading state within the nation with a significant increase in green job creation, a logical consequence of this state’s very ambitious renewable energy and emissions reduction goals. Currently, California oversees 42 new green energy government and private sector projects, which represented a 15,400 job increase for last year (this year’s statistics are still under analysis.)
- Texas – During 2013, Texas also became another state to lead the way in the development of cleaner and more efficient use of energy, placing second with an overall job increase of about 6,300, spread across 12 projects.
- Hawaii– A state that comes in third-place with an added 5,700 jobs; the industry growth was spurred by rooftop solar installations and new energy efficiency investments.
- Maryland – a state that created approximately 4,679 new green jobs. A consequence of 6 new green energy projects and an existing 54 in process.
- Massachusetts – surprisingly has also experienced significant growth with 4,527 new job positions as a result of the increasing use of solar and natural gas projects.
- Illinois – a state that despite economic stagnation in other sectors saw a 3,815 job opening increase in the clean energy sectors.
- Nevada – a state that increased the job market by 3358 in renewable energies and investors such as Warren Buffet have set a keen interest in investing in greener energy alternatives for one of the largest casino cities of the world.
- Oregon follows with an added 3,267 new jobs.
- New York has also created an additional 3,194 clean energy jobs in the last year.
- Missouri has increased jobs in the industry by 2,800.
But not everything is icing on the cake.
Despite growth in 2013, there are about 30% fewer green jobs than there were reported in 2012.
This slight decline is due to new energy regulations that have since been imposed by congress, which could certainly be a potential harbinger of dark clouds ahead for 2014.