The best kept secret in America is that clean tech is a mega job-creator. America has approximately 563,000 electric utility work associates. California alone has created over 500,000 “advanced energy” jobs. Nationally, over 800,000 people are employed in energy efficiency.
Clean tech not only accounts for a large number of jobs. Importantly, it also creates local jobs. These are jobs that every state and city can have.
They are also steady jobs. Real estate and fossil fuel bubbles come and go. Reducing costs and emissions is a mega trend that is gaining strength during the 21st century.
So, how does a community realize this job and economic development potential? California offers real-world insights. The great news is that this is not rocket science that is open only to a narrow group of experts. Smart/clean tech is a mass-market opportunity that every community can harvest. To grow jobs, you don’t have to invent it. You just have to sell it, install it, maintain and repair it.
This job growth is occurring across smart/clean tech sectors including solar, energy storage, smart grid, energy efficiency and electric cars. While solar has won deserved attention in California’s job-creation success story, it is energy efficiency that is the largest job creator. Building efficiency accounts for about 6 out of 10 advance energy jobs in the state.
California is succeeding in growing jobs faster than the U.S. average -- and advanced energy is a major reason why. Advanced energy jobs are growing six times faster than California’s overall economy.
Small businesses dominate California’s advanced energy jobs: 75 percent of these jobs are with businesses that have 24 or fewer work associates. These are the businesses that are installing, maintaining and repairing smart/clean tech.
Advanced-energy job growth is happening at the local level in communities across California. Approximately 3 percent of all jobs, across regions as diverse as Northern California is to Southern California or the Inland Empire, are in advanced energy. No part of California is losing out on this economic development and job-creation opportunity.
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