From commercial-scale solar developments to energy-efficient recycling projects, clean energy and clean transportation continues to create jobs and drive economic growth. By tracking job announcements from companies, elected officials, the media, and elsewhere, Environmental Entrepreneurs’ (E2’s) jobs reports show how and where clean energy works in the United States. This post includes the introduction to the report.
Clean jobs fall in Q1
Nearly 5,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced throughout the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014. This is a significant decline from the previous two quarters. The decline stems in part from the expiration of federal tax credits critical to leveling the playing field for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, like wind, solar, and energy efficient lighting, continuing attacks on state clean energy policies, and low natural gas prices. Because of ongoing regulatory uncertainty and other energy sector trends, businesses held back investments that would likely have led to more hiring in the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.
As a result of the decline in job announcements, a lone geothermal project was enough to propel Idaho, which had not ranked in the Top 10 in any previous quarter, to the top spot. Idaho was immediately followed by more traditional top performers. The remaining states in the Top 10 were: TX, CA, MO, NY, KS, AZ, HI, NM, and LA.
Texas ranked 2nd with four announcements, including two wind and one solar farm announcement with a combined capacity of 249 MW. Louisiana was a newcomer to the Top 10, thanks to recycled plastic railroad tie maker IntegriCo Composites’ new manufacturing facility in Webster Parish.
Looking at individual sectors, geothermal had one of its strongest showings since E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) began tracking job announcements in 2011. E2 tracked more than 1,000 job announcements from the geothermal sector in Q1, including 800 planned jobs from Aguacaliente’s 25 MW project near Malta, Idaho. This was one of three geothermal projects announced this quarter to take advantage of the Production Tax Credit revised construction eligibility rules, despite its expiration in December.
Looking ahead, the EPA’s anticipated rollout of carbon pollution standards for existing power plants in June could offer more certainty and opportunities for growth in the clean energy industry. By ensuring carbon is regulated from these power plants for the first time, clean, renewable sources of energy like sun, wind, and geothermal and energy efficient technologies, like more efficient lighting and appliances, insulation, and system controls, could play a significant role in helping states to cost effectively meet the standards and potentially lead to substantial increases in the number of clean jobs announced in the coming years.
For more details, including state-by-state breakdowns and more clean energy jobs stories, visit
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