by Chris de Morsella, Green Economy Post Chris is the co-editor of The Green Executive Recruiter Directory. Follow Chris on Twitter @greeneconpost

Major Green Industries with a significant presence in the state are: Solar, Wind, Biofuel, Smart Grid, Fuel Cells, Hydro, geothermal, Green Building and Energy Efficiency.

The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report “ found that in 2007 New York ranked fifth in the number of jobs in the clean energy economy and second in clean technology patents granted. In 2007 the state reported 3,323 clean businesses and had 34,363 green jobs in the state. The employment situation in New York has been lackluster; in fact overall the state has seen a 2.6% job loss for the decade running from 1998 through 2007. It has also lost jobs in the cleantech sectors though at a lower rate than for the general economy; for the period 1998-2007 the state lost 1.9% if its green jobs. The report also states that between 2006 and 2008 New York saw $209 million of new venture capital invested in its cleantech businesses.

According to a study conducted by green job search engine in 2010, New York is the forth ranked state hiring for green jobs. The greater New York tri-state metro area also ranked in fourth place on the CleanEdge, Inc. 2010 report for cleantech job activity.

According to the Brookings Institute Clean Jobs Report. in 2010 New York had 185,038 clean jobs, which make up 2.1% of all jobs in the state. New York has seen an increase of 5.8 clean jobs annually since 2003 with a total of 60,190.  The estimated median wage in California is $43,801, but the median salary for clean economy jobs in the state is $44,056.

The Brookings Institute Clean Jobs Report lists the largest clean economy segments in New York as public mass transi, waste management, conservation, and regulation and compliance.  The fastest growing segments in the clean economy are wind, solar thermal, regulation and compliance, solar photovoltaic, HVAC and Building Control Systems.

Renewable Energy Jobs

In 2009 there were 4,287 direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy in New York.

New York is the 9th ranked state in the country for solar jobs providing around 3,500 solar jobs in an estimated 225 solar firms, and the state is ranked in 8th place in the nation in installed solar capacity. It is one of the nation’s top generators of electricity from landfill gas and solid municipal waste. New York also ranked 13th in the nation in installed wind capacity, and the wind energy sector is steadily expanding, with 345 MW installed in state in 2009 alone. The state is also developing it’s tidal energy resources.

Solar Power Jobs

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, it is a top 10 solar state (in seventh place) for cumulative installed solar capacity in the United States as of 2010.

In January 2010, The New York Power Authority (NYPA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a public-private partnership for the installation of up to 100 MW of photovoltaic (PV) systems across the state, the state’s largest solar program to date.

Wind Energy Jobs

New York now has 1,275MW of wind power capacity, from wind farms and the state has more than 7,000MW of proposed wind farms in planning or development.

At least five manufacturers in the state currently supply products for the wind energy industry. In addition, wind power projects produce lease payments for landowners and increase the tax base of communities.

Tidal Energy Jobs

New York has 4 tidal power projects in development. Verdant Power has been running a test tidal project in the East River since 2007, the first major tidal power project in the U.S.

Energy Efficiency

This growing body of evidence indicates that investments in energy efficiency hold tremendous job creation potential. New York was one of the first states to establish a system benefits charge (SBC) to support energy efficiency and other public benefits energy programs. In June 2008, the regulated electric utilities in the state increased funding for energy efficiency programs to approximately $334 million per year and the state has moved up to the #4 slot in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 2010 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, up from the #5 position it held the year before. According to the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, state and utility electric efficiency program budgets for 2009 total $378.3 million; for natural gas, $42.9 million. As a result New York should expect to see a continuation of energy efficiency job growth over the next few years.

Smart Grid Jobs

New York is the headquarters for key smart grid companies such as IBM and GE; it has major world renowned research centers in academia, industry and government including: Brookhaven National Laboratory Columbia University, Cornell University, GE Global Research, and SUNY Stony Brook; and is a leader in renewable energy generation with the goal of reaching 25% renewable electricity by 2013. The development of the smart grid in New York is being championed in the state by the NYS Smart Grid Consortium, Inc. that is seeking to capitalize on the states unique position and economic advantages in order to promote the development of an in state smart grid sector.

In the short term helped by infusions from Federal Stimulus Grants and the state Jobs Plan the consortium believes 3,200 new jobs will be created by 2010.

Sustainability Jobs

Sustainability is evolving and becoming more mainstream. As this occurs, it is increasing becoming a part of business strategy within large corporations. The majority of whom are increasing investment in sustainability and adoption of sustainability as a core management practice. Increasingly companies see it as a means of gaining the competitive edge and many have incorporated sustainability into business operations and product development. This growing 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.

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. Because New York is home to so many large and medium sized corporations and important universities as well, those living in New York should see a significant increase in the number of sustainability opportunities. New York is home to 94 Fortune 1000 companies and 336 colleges and universities. It has 13 research universities.

In fact, from October 2009 to April 30, 2011 the number of job postings in sustainability in New York state have increased 50%

The following is a sampling of some of the 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

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