Georgia #1 for Clean Energy Jobs
Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
A new report from the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows that more than 9,800 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced across the country the first three months of 2015. This is almost double the number E2 tracked the corresponding quarter a year ago.
The top three states for the quarter were: Georgia (2,870 jobs), California (1,885) and Texas (1,612). New Mexico, Michigan, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, Maryland and Indiana rounded out the top 10.
The complete report is available here. For a searchable database of clean energy job announcements in all 50 states – plus interactive maps and stories highlighting how clean energy is expanding the economy in your region – see www.CleanEnergyWorksForUs.org.
“Nearly 10,000 new job announcements in one quarter shows just how fast clean energy is growing in America,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “But building an economy increasingly fueled by clean, renewable energy like wind and solar doesn’t happen in just one quarter. Smart policies like the federal Clean Power Plan – which will reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants and increase clean energy – will help keep the job growth going.”
Final Clean Power Plan standards will be announced later this summer. States will have one year to develop plans that take into account their own unique energy mix. The Clean Power Plan will create more jobs nationwide by sending a strong, clear signal to the private sector, resulting in more investments in projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency, the report concluded.
Nationally, solar was the top sector in Q1, with more than 6,600 jobs announced from nearly 20 projects in solar generation and solar manufacturing. The report attributed declining materials costs as a primary reason for the solar industry’s strong showing. In the wind energy sector, more than 1,400 jobs stemming from 11 projects were announced, while the biomass, energy storage, advanced vehicle and lighting efficiency sectors announced hundreds of jobs each.
Georgia’s No. 1 ranking was its first since E2 began its clean energy job-tracking analysis in 2011. The vast majority of its jobs came in the solar sector.
“I have always stated that expanding solar creates jobs,” said Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and founder of the Green Tea Coalition, which advocates for more solar energy and increased competition in several states. “I am very proud to see that Georgia is leading the way on solar job creation thanks to the leadership of our conservative elected officials. The sun is shining brightly in Georgia, and it is creating jobs.”
The report includes three case studies: a solar company that’s using the “community solar” model to create jobs in Maryland; an energy efficiency company in Michigan that’s saving businesses like convenience stores and supermarkets money on electric bills; and a Virginia distillery that relies on a rooftop solar array to generate about 85 percent of its electricity.