More than 10,800 U.S. jobs in the clean energy and related sectors were announced in the third quarter, but that number represents a drastic drop from the second quarter, when 37,000 clean energy jobs were announced, and from the first quarter, when 46,000 jobs were created, according to a new report by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
The main factor in the marked drop was policy uncertainty, especially the looming expiration of the production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy.
‘These numbers show that policy matters,’ says Judith Albert, executive director of E2. ‘With clean energy job announcements slowing down, it becomes even more important that Congress and the administration take the right steps to ensure that we don't lose any more momentum in the clean energy sector that's helping both our economy and our environment.’
‘The election is now over, and the political posturing needs to end,’ adds Jacob Susman, founder and CEO of OwnEnegy Inc. ‘Congress should give businesses like mine the certainty we need to grow, by passing the Senate Finance Committee's version of the PTC in the upcoming tax-extenders package that will let us all get back to work.’
In the wind industry, manufacturing job announcements fell to zero in the third quarter, compared to eight announcements in the first quarter and two in the second quarter.
Power generation companies announced the most clean energy jobs in the third quarter. Solar, wind and biogas companies announced 40 projects that together would create more than 6,000 jobs.
The E2 report also notes that clean energy job announcements have no political or regional boundaries, as 48% of the announcements were in Republican congressional districts, 46% were in Democratic districts and 6% spanned more than one congressional district.
The top 10 states for green jobs in the third quarter were California, New York, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois and Nevada.
Three states saw significant jumps in announcements for clean energy and related jobs between the second and third quarters: North Carolina (from No. 26 to No. 7), Washington (from No. 27 to No. 4), and Texas (from No. 15 to No. 6).