The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) today released a report Green Collar Jobs in the U.S. and Colorado: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century that documents 2007 job levels and projects future employment for green jobs in the U.S. and the state of Colorado. This report was produced by Management Information Services, Inc (MISI) and is a follow-up to a report issued in November 2007.
This report defines "green jobs" as those pertaining to the renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries, specifically:
A job in the RE industry consists of an employee working in one of the major RE technologies—wind, photovoltaics, solar thermal, hydroelectric power, geothermal, biomass (ethanol, biodiesel, and biomass power), and fuel cells and hydrogen.
A job in the EE industry consists of an employee working in a sector that is entirely part of the EE industry, such as an energy service company (ESCO) or the recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing sector. It also includes some employees in industries in which only a portion of the output is classified as within the EE sector, such as household appliances, HVAC systems, construction, automobile manufacturing, and others.
Finally, in this study, jobs in RE&EE include persons involved in RE&EE activities in federal, state, and local government, universities, nonprofits, trade and professional associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, consultancies, investment companies (analysts, for example), and other related organizations.
Key conclusions from the report include:
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency currently provide more than 9 million jobs and $1,045 billion in revenue in the U.S. (2007). The previous year (2006) renewable energy and energy efficiency represented 8.5 million jobs and $972 billion in revenue.
- 95% of the jobs are in private industry.
- As many as 37 million jobs can be generated by the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in the U.S. by 2030 – more than 17% of all anticipated U.S. employment.
- Hottest sectors include solar thermal, solar photovoltaics, biofuels, and fuel cells (in terms of revenue growth).
- Hot job areas include electricians, mechanical engineers, welders, metal workers, construction managers, accountants, analysts, environmental scientists, and chemists. The vast majority of jobs created by the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries are in the same types of roles seen in other industries (accountants, factory workers, IT professionals, etc).
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency can create millions of well-paying jobs, many of which are not subject to foreign outsourcing. These jobs are in two categories that every state is eager to attract – college-educated professional workers (many with advanced degrees), and highly skilled technical workers.
- The renewable energy industry grew more than three times as fast as the U.S. economy in 2007 (not including hydropower). Renewable energy is also growing more rapidly than the energy efficiency industry, but the energy efficiency industry is currently much larger than the renewable energy industry.
“There’s a new sense of optimism in the green economy,” said ASES Executive Director Brad Collins. “But while the U.S. could see million of new jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency, this will only happen with the necessary leadership, research, development, and public policy at the federal and state levels.
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