According to the annual U.S. Energy and Employment Jobs Report, over 18,000 utility-scale clean energy jobs were added in 2022, outpacing the overall jobs market in terms of grow. Clean energy jobs rebounded 3.9% in 2022 after having a down year in 2021.
Today, over 460,000 jobs in the United States are devoted to solar, wind, battery energy storage and other cleantech industries, reported the Department of Energy. The energy sector has recouped 71% of the number of jobs lost in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, said DOE.
Solar had the largest number of jobs gained in the electric generation sector, adding 12,256 workers from 2021 to 2022. Coal electric power generation jobs decreased by 6,780 from 2021 to 2022, down 9.6%. Batteries, for both grid storage and electric vehicles, added 3,225 jobs, rising 4.6%.
Clean energy jobs grew across all 50 states and D.C. Excluding traditional transmission and distribution jobs, California added 13,116 jobs (+3.6%), followed by Texas, which added 5,198 (+5.5%), and New York, which added 5,054 (+3.0%).
When including transmission and distribution jobs, California added 13,293 (+3.2%), followed by West Virginia, which added 6,975 (+19%), and Texas, which added 5,136 (+3.5%).
The Department of Energy report shared that the solar industry employs veterans 60% more than the overall market. The industry also employs people represented by unions, collective bargaining agreements, or project labor agreements 60% more than the total U.S. workforce.
Manufacturing has been a large element in the clean energy jobs boom. More than 82,000 workers have clean energy manufacturing jobs in the United States.
“We are on the leading edge of incredible growth in the clean energy economy. Clean energy production and the manufacturing of new energy technologies are creating new career paths and economic opportunity in communities across the country,” said Jason Grumet, chief executive officer of the American Clean Power Association (ACP).
The number of women working in energy increased by 149,732, an increase of +7.8%, meaning that over half of the net jobs added in 2022 were held by women. However, the energy workforce was 73% dominated by men, making it less balanced in terms of gender than the U.S. workforce average, which was 53% male.
Employers across all technologies report they expect growth from 2022 to 2023, ranging from 1.6% expected job growth in fuels to 6.4% expected growth in energy efficiency.
Over the last eight months, following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, over $150 billion in domestic utility-scale clean power investments have been announced, according to the American Clean Power Association (ACP). By 2030, it is estimated the IRA will drive the installation of 950 million solar panels, 120,000 wind turbines, and 2,300 grid-scale battery facilities.
“While growth in clean energy jobs is outpacing the rest of the economy, sustaining this progress requires overcoming a number of looming obstacles,” said Grumet. “Topping the list is America’s need for high-capacity transmission lines to carry clean and reliable energy to homes and businesses across America. We must connect clean power to the people to achieve the economic promise and domestic job growth of these new industries.”
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