Clean Energy Sector Creates Jobs 12 Times Faster than Average

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Over the last few decades, the US has been making a gradual transition to a more sustainable and energy efficient economy. New business models to support renewable energy and sustainability have emerged, which are also helping create thousands of sustainability jobs across the nation.

A recent report by Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps, “Now Hiring: The Growth of America’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Jobs,” highlights the rapid growth of the renewable energy sector and its role in job creation. According to the report, in 2015, renewable energy jobs in the US reached 769,000, the result of a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly six percent since 2012.

Job creation in this sector has outstripped the fossil fuel industry. For instance, jobs in fossil fuel extraction and support services slumped, with a -4.25% CAGR over the same period. Solar and wind jobs have grown at rates of about 20 percent annually in recent years and are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the US economy.

Energy Efficiency

There are approximately 2.2 million energy efficiency workers nationwide, the majority of which are in small businesses working on the construction and installation of energy efficient systems. Studies have shown that energy efficiency investments create more jobs than those in fossil fuel industries, estimated at about eight jobs (direct and indirect) per $1M invested compared to about three jobs in fossil fuels.


Clean vehicles employed more than 174,000 workers in 2016, up 48 percent from 2015. Hybrid vehicles have experienced particularly rapid growth and now represent more than 70 percent of these jobs. Continued progress in this sector is expected, fueled by rising adoption, expanded charging infrastructure, as well as state and local government incentives and regulations.

Public Sector

Past estimates of “green jobs” in government total nearly 890,000 with the majority (76 percent) at the local and state level. There is reason to believe that the increased focus on energy, climate, clean transport and other sustainability issues is further growing the public sector’s green workforce requirements.

Corporate Sustainability

There is strong evidence to suggest that companies are increasing investments in sustainability. A 2016 survey found that three quarters of firms now have dedicated sustainability budgets and 40 percent had grown these budgets over the previous two years. In addition, 46 percent of large firms have hired additional sustainability staff in the last two years.

Source: EDF Climate Corps

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