More than 12,500 clean energy and transportation jobs were announced in this year’s second quarter (Q2 2014), more than double that of Q1, according to a report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) on the eve of the Labor Day weekend.
The announcement of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan instilled confidence and greater certainty regarding the future of clean energy in the U.S. That, in turn, helped spur the jump in clean energy job announcements in Q2, Environmental Entrepreneurs stated in a press release.
“This Labor Day weekend, the story is that more Americans are working because of clean energy,” E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe was quoted as saying. “But to keep that growth going, we need our state and federal leaders to do their jobs too. We need them to support smart policies that grow our economy and protect our environment – policies like the federal Clean Power Plan.”
Clean energy, transportation policies spur green job creation
Jonathan Foster, CEO of energy software services company Nexant and director of E2’s Northern California chapter, highlighted the pivotal role government policy plays in establishing the rules governing a private-sector, market-driven economy that values both environmental and economic sustainability:
“Businesses depend on market certainty, and clean energy businesses are no different. What good policies do – whether it’s AB 32 in California or the new federal Clean Power Plan – is help create market certainty. That’s good for our economy and our environment.”
Green job growth leaders
Examining Q2 growth in clean energy and clean transportation job announcements across the nation, E2 found that more were announced in Arizona than any other U.S. state. California ranked second and Michigan third.
“Solar Wind Energy Inc. announced it expects to hire at least 350 permanent jobs for a new project in San Luis, Arizona. California ranks second in the E2 report, thanks to announcements from the utility-scale solar industry and from 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,” E2 elaborated.
In its press release, E2 also summarized other notable clean energy projects announced across the U.S. during th second quarter:
- Well over 1,000 new jobs stemmed from SolarCity’s announcement of its $200 million acquisition of solar manufacturer Silevo. As part of the acquisition, SolarCity will build a 1 GW annual production capacity manufacturing facility at the RiverBend clean energy hub in Buffalo, New York;
- 800 new construction jobs tied to Tenaska’s recently-closed deal to build the Imperial Solar Energy Center West Project in Imperial County, California;
- 800 jobs created with the $66.7 million investment from Boston Housing Authority, which enabled public housing water and energy retrofits throughout the city. The city expects to save $4 million a year.
For five quarters running, more solar energy jobs were announced (22) in Q2 than were announced in any other clean energy or clean transportation sector, E2 found. “[F]ive solar companies announced hiring in the residential sector, expanding their existing workforce in the prime solar markets of Arizona, California, New York and Massachusetts. Each of these states has strong net metering policies, enabling residents to sell electricity back to the grid,” E2 highlights.
The complete report is available free for downloading on the E2 website.
Image credits: Environmental Entrepreneurs, “Clean Energy Works For Us: Second Quarter 2014 Report”