More than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in the U.S. during the second quarter of this year – more than double the number of jobs announced in the first quarter, according to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
The nonprofit business group says solar power led all sectors in the second quarter, with more than 5,300 jobs announced, and the wind industry announced more than 2,700 jobs, many stemming from projects that qualified for the recently expired production tax credit. Other major announcements came from electric car manufacturers Tesla and General Motors.
According to the report, the jump in jobs took place despite mixed signals on clean energy policies from Congress but amid new confidence about future clean energy growth tied to the recently proposed Clean Power Plan.
Announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in June, the Clean Power Plan aims to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30% by 2030. Along the way, E2 says the policy is expected to drive growth in energy efficiency and renewable energy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and saving U.S. businesses and consumers an estimated $37 billion in energy costs.
E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe says more Americans are working because of clean energy. "But to keep that growth going, we need our state and federal leaders to do their jobs, too," he notes. "We need them to support smart policies that grow our economy and protect our environment."
The report also ranks the top 10 states with the most cleantech job announcements in the second quarter.
Arizona won the top spot, with Solar Wind Energy Inc. planning to hire at least 350 permanent workers for a new project in the state. California ranks second in the E2 report, thanks to announcements from the utility-scale solar industry and 500 new jobs announced by Tesla Motors. Michigan placed third, with GM expected to add as many as 1,400 jobs producing advanced battery technologies.
Rounding out the top 10 are Utah (4), Massachusetts (5), New York (6), Nevada (7), New Mexico (8), North Dakota (9) and North Carolina (10).
More information about the report can be found here.