Clean Energy Jobs Are Real and Growing!
For a number of years, clean energy jobs in the US have been growing steadily, even in a time of high unemployment and a severe recession. But this good news has often been hard to spot, given the relatively small size of the renewable energy sector and the dreadful shape of the overall economy.
But now the evidence is pouring in that clean energy jobs are surging. An article posted today on RenewableEnergyWorld.com describes the remarkable job growth in most renewable energy fields in 2010, and projects continued strong growth in the year ahead, in part due to investments contained in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
For example, the article states:
"The solar power industry doubled the number of people that worked in the industry from 2009 to 2010, from approximately 50,000 in 2009 to 100,000 in 2010...In 2011, it is expected to grow the number of (US) jobs in the industry by 26%."
In contrast, in 2006, there were 82,595 people employed in coal mining in the US.
The article cites data from the Solar Foundation showing that solar installations in the US more than doubled in 2010 compared to the year before. "Firms are adding employees in all 50 states and the fastest growing jobs are installers and electricians."
The article also offers a good reminder that public policies matter! For example, it points out that passage of a strong national renewable portfolio standard in Congress could create 420,000 new jobs in the hydropower field alone by 2025.