The Green Economy Post U.S. Cleantech Employment Outlook: Green Jobs by State Section
This U.S. state by state section is part of a larger and evolving group of related resources that include valuable information of cleantech, sustainability and environmental employment trends and green sector by sector employment outlook reports as well, all cross linked into a powerful online resource.
The Green Economy Post U.S. Cleantech Employment Outlook is intended to help green job seekers, mid career professionals and green career changers who are seeking information about the green economy in their state, occupation or industry and the types of green or cleantech jobs and employment outlook that are available.
This report covers employment trends and employment outlook in cleantech including: biofuel, geothermal, hydro,solar, wind, green building, energy efficiency, water & water treatment, environmental, sustainability, smart grid and green transportation.
Find Out Where the Green Jobs Are in Your State
This section of the The Green Economy Post U.S. Cleantech Employment Outlook takes a state by state look at what green jobs exist in each state; what the cleantech employment outlook is for each state; and what are the important green economy clusters that exist or are in formation in those states where this is applicable. This section brings the green jobs employment outlook to the state level. Some big states, notably California have their own sub-sections for regions and sectors with the state.
Click on the state you are interested in to see green jobs information for that state.
National Green Jobs Trends
In this section we take a top level look at national job trends for various prominent green economy sectors. More details are provided at each individual state page where indicated.
Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Jobs
This sub-section focuses on providing a compact summary at a national level for the various renewable energy and energy storage sectors that have an important employment impact in our economy.
Biofuel and Biomass Jobs
In 2005 the U.S. overtook Brazil and is now the world’s largest producer of biofuels. According to a recent report by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) the biorefinery industry accounted for more than 40,000 jobs in the U.S. (2010 data) The commercialization of second and third generation biofuels is expected to create 800,000 new jobs (190,000 direct new green jobs, and 610,000 indirect new jobs) in the U.S. by 2022.
While many of these jobs are concentrated in the agricultural heartland biofuel and biomass energy related jobs can be found in many state across the country.
According to the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) there has been strong growth in new geothermal power projects (25% increase) since August 2008, there has been a 25% increase in new geothermal projects. There is also an increase in overall production potential by 35%. The report also notes that the number of states producing geothermal power has increased from 7 to 8 with the addition of Wyoming. A total of 126 projects are currently under development. New geothermal power projects were identified in Nevada, with 58 confirmed projects, has the most production under development. California is second with 27 projects, followed by Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and Alaska, respectively. The manufacturing operations required to support the construction of geothermal power plants further expands geothermal energy’s employment footprint beyond the Western US. Suppliers of power and cooling systems components employ people in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas.
According to the National Hydropower Association, hydropower accounts for 7% of domestic electricity production in the U.S., which has the 2nd largest installed capacity of hydropower in the world. The U.S. hydropower industry currently employs up to 300,000 workers, from project development to manufacturing to facilities operations and maintenance. It projects that nationally jobs will increase to 480,000 by 2025 in the West and Tennessee (due to project deployment) and Pennsylvania (due to manufacturing). If the nation pushes for a higher renewable energy target than it is, significantly more total cumulative hydro jobs will be created than contained in the projection, which is based on the current modest renewable energy mandates in place.
Solar Energy Jobs
The National Solar Jobs Census 2010 reports that U.S. solar companies expect to add jobs at a much faster pace than the general economy. Specifically, as of August 2010, the U.S. solar industry employs an estimated 93,000 solar workers – defined as those workers who spend at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities. This is around twice the number of workers reported in 2009 and high growth is expected to continue in the near term outlook. Over the next 12 months, over 50% of solar firms expect to add jobs, while only 2% expect to cut workers.
According to GTM Research, solar photovoltaic installations grew at a phenomenal compound annual growth rate of 61% between 2006 and 2009, and in fact this year solar PV installations are expected to cross the important milestone of a gigawatt of newly added capacity for the year in the U.S.
The number of solar workers (those who spend at least 50% of their time working on solar related work) is expected to grow at a 26% rate this year, adding approximately 24,000 new jobs across the country. This astounding level of jobs growth in solar power employment is across all areas of this industry including in solar manufacturing as well, which is expected to add about 9,000 solar workers over the next 12 months, a 36% growth rate from current levels.
Solar jobs can be found in every state, and solar companies of all kinds expect to experience employment growth over the coming year. California is home to about 30% of all solar companies in the U.S., however other states, such as Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, and Arizona, report either large numbers of solar companies or large numbers of workers at solar-related firms. On a regional basis, the majority of the solar jobs are located in the West, followed by the Northeast, but jobs are growing quickly in all regions.
Wind Energy Jobs
The U.S. wind industry had 40,181 MW of wind power capacity installed at the end of 2010, with 5,116 MW installed in 2010 alone. The U.S. wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. The wind industry is also a growing market for American manufacturing. Over 400 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. make components for wind turbines, such as towers, turbines, blades and assembled nacelles and can be found in every region of the country.
According to AWEA, an estimated 85,000 Americans are currently employed in the wind power industry and related fields, surpassing (in 2008) the number of Americans employed in the mining of coal. These jobs are not only in the wind farms themselves, but increasingly are also being created in America’s growing domestic wind manufacturing base. Manufacturers of the turbines and their components created 13,000 jobs alone in 2008.
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Smart Grid Jobs
The smart grid can be thought of as a kind of “energy internet” which is to say a decentralized system that adds a much higher level of situational awareness provided by networked sensors deployed thorughout the grid along with near real time signalling and communications capabilities with consumers who form the edges of the system turning what has been a one way network into a what has the potential to become a two-way network. It is a major reformation of the existing electric power infrastructure with implications and effects that permeate this vast array of connected pieces at all levels. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) estimates that a fully deployed smart grid could reduce the U.S. electricity sector’s energy and emissions by 12% in 2030.
The Smart Grid employment growth outlook is good over the next few years. The U.S. is a global leader in this area and this growing sector is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs annually in coming years. The global energy consulting firm KEMA, using a conservative estimate of slightly more than four jobs created for every million dollars of investment has estimated that 278, 600 U.S. smart grid jobs will be created by 2012, including jobs with utilities, contractors, and suppliers (KEMA, 2009). Just the supplier segment for this industry — which does not include utility jobs — has so far created roughly 17,000 green jobs across the country, according to the report: U.S. Smart Grid.
Green Building and Energy Efficiency Jobs
Green Building and Energy Efficiency is a broad category comprised of various industries that are working to make new and existing buildings resource efficient and friendly to the environment. Energy Efficiency, as well as being part of Green Building, also includes private and public agencies responsible for energy planning and management. Industries within this sector range from manufacturing of more efficient products and systems, construction of new “greener” buildings
Nationally despite an unprecedented collapse in new construction in the U.S. green building market has expanded five fold over the last three years to a $48 billion national market—and is projected to triple in the next five years. The U.S. Green building sector supports over 2 million jobs despite hard economic conditions and this number is projected to rise to 8 million green building jobs by 2013 providing green jobs to such occupations as construction managers, architects, cost estimators, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and landscapers. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) “Green Jobs Study” published in 2009 in order to assess the future of the green construction and retrofitting industry in the United States projected that, over the next three years, green construction will contribute $554 billion to the national economy, while the number of green jobs will rise almost fourfold to 7.9 million.
Energy Efficiency Retrofits
In spite of a general weakness in new construction due to the global recession, one building-related field has continued to grow: retrofits tied to improving the efficiency of facilities. Investments in energy efficiency by government and the business sector is starting to skyrocket which mean there will be many more jobs in the energy efficiency sector over the next few years. Smart Grid & Energy Efficiency ranked three out of the top five sectors for Clean-Tech Job Activity (U.S.) in the 2010 CleanEdge Job Study.
The energy efficiency industry has also become a significant economic driver in the United States and is expected to continue to grow in size. For example, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, an estimated $300 billion was invested in energy efficiency technologies and infrastructure spanning multiple sectors in the United States in 2004.
Sustainability is evolving and becoming more mainstream. As this occurs, it is increasing becoming an integral part of business strategy within large corporations. Most medium to large corporations and other institutions, such as in government and education, are increasing investment in and management of sustainability, and see it as a means of gaining the competitive edge. Many have incorporated sustainability into business operations and product development. This growing sustainability adoption trend is particularly true in resource intensive industries and companies with workforces of more than 10,000. All these trends are driving many organizations to bring on hire sustainability professionals or increase the number of sustainability professionals working their organizations.
Colleges and universities have also increased their hiring of sustainability staff in the last year. There is more sustainability hiring taking place in schools with enrollment of 10,000 or more and research institutions. Despite this huge increase in the need for sustainability professionals, a growing number of graduates and working professionals want to use their business careers to make a difference in environmental issues. As a result, competition for these jobs is fierce.
Because of the organizational nature and scope of sustainability there is more work in the sustainability field for those living in areas that are home to more large company headquarters and more large universities. Thus the numbers of positions for sustainability careers varies according to how many large universities, government bureaucracies, and large corporate headquarters a state or region is home to.
The following is a sampling of some of the types of job titles advertised: Energy & Sustainability Analyst, HVAC Service Branch Manager, Manager – Climate Change & Sustainability Services, Fresh Market Manager, Energy & Sustainability Analyst, Director of Global Citizenship, Environmental Sustainability, Program Officer, Sustainability Coordinator, Sustainability Services Project Specialist, Manager Environmental Sustainability Strategy, and Advisory Sustainable Business Solutions Managing Director