Energy Issues

Jobs PicThere is no doubt that renewables are a serious driver of economic growth in the U.S. Much of this growth is centered in the manufacturing, installation, and rural sectors, buttressing our blue-collar economy. However, the exact amount of jobs supported by renewable energy in the United States is hard to pin down.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics used to keep track of “green goods and services jobs,” but funding for that program was cut in 2011 – although not before it found 2,154,700 direct green goods and services jobs in 2009.1
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Likewise, a 2011 study from the Brookings Institute found 2.7 million jobs in the clean economy.2
The Brookings Institute

However, it’s impossible to know exactly how many of those jobs were directly tied to clean energy specifically. According to IRENA, renewable energy supported 650,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2013…3
IRENA, May 2014
But that number does not include the energy efficiency industry, which creates more jobs per $1 million in investment than most industries.4
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

So while there may be questions about exactly how many jobs clean energy supports in America, renewables are certainly playing a role in our economic comeback. One need only look at the solar industry, which alone supports 173,807 direct jobs.5
The Solar Foundation, January 2015
That’s 186% more jobs than the industry supported just 5 years ago, and it's significantly more than coal mining.6
Politifact, July 2014

  May 20, 2015  |    Environmental Entrepreneurs, May 2015

  May 19, 2015  |    International Renewable Energy Agency

  Apr 28, 2015  |    U.S. Department of Energy, April 2015

  Apr 23, 2015  |    Environmental Entrepreneurs, April 2015

  Apr 23, 2015  |    AWEA, April 2015

  Sep 10, 2014  |    Wichita Eagle

  Jun 16, 2014  |    The Denver Post

  May 22, 2014  |    Environmental Entrepreneurs

  May 12, 2014  |    IRENA

  Apr 25, 2014  |    Fuels America

  Mar 20, 2014  |    Crain's Chicago Business

  Mar 04, 2014  |    The Boston Globe

  Jan 31, 2014  |    The Solar Foundation

  Jan 24, 2014  |    Reuters

  Jan 24, 2014  |    Renewable Fuels Association



  Jan 24, 2015

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