In California, jobs in the clean energy industry now outnumber fossil fuel jobs by five to one. These statistics were released today (Aug. 20) in the Clean Jobs California 2019 report conducted by the non-partisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). In fact, California’s clean energy workforce accounts for more than half the state’s entire energy sector workforce (nearly 947,000).
The report reveals that over half a million Californians now work in the clean energy sector, accounting for one out of every seven clean energy employees nationwide.
“Year after year, clean energy provides immense value to the California economy – creating thousands of good-paying jobs, protecting the environment for future growth, and attracting billions in investments,” Andy Wunder, E2 Western States Advocate said in a statement.
California’s Policies Lead the Nation
The state’s progressive policies, such as its Renewable Portfolio Standard and its Low Carbon Fuel Standard are credited for helping the Golden State achieve record-breaking employment. Yet, there is still plenty of work to do. The report authors recommend that state lawmakers should:
- Work to ensure ongoing and stable funding for clean vehicle incentives.
- Codify former Gov. Brown’s executive order that commits to total carbon neutrality by 2045.
- Advance policies to promote full integration of the electric grid in the West, helping open new markets for the state’s clean energy resources and ultimately reduce customer utility bills.
Wunder added: “California lawmakers have a responsibility to ensure those jobs, and the state’s clean energy economy, continue to grow by strengthening and implementing forward-looking policies.”
Solar and Clean Vehicles
Over the years, solar energy and more recently, sustainable transportation, have helped drive California’s half a million clean energy jobs. Despite an overall downturn in solar employment, four out of every 10 solar jobs in America are located in the Golden State. The clean transportation sector is showing notable progress, as California experienced a 22 percent growth in this sector in 2018. Now, more than 22,300 state residents work on researching, designing and manufacturing hybrid, electric and natural gas vehicles. Michigan is the only state that supports more clean vehicle jobs than California.
Renewable Energy Overall
Renewable energy as a whole has a strong showing in California. Aside from the 126k+ solar jobs, the state is home to more than 5,700 wind energy jobs, over 7,200 bioenergy and combined heat and power (CHP) jobs and nearly 2,500 geothermal jobs. The Golden State employs more residents in the renewable energy field than the next top six states combined.
Where Are These Jobs?
The top counties ranked by total clean energy jobs are:
- Los Angeles
- Santa Clara
- San Diego
- San Francisco
Three out of every five clean energy jobs were located in the metro areas of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. However, about 21 percent of all these jobs came from areas with populations under 1 million. Rural areas also supported about 11,000 jobs in this industry.
“California is a clean energy economic juggernaut,” Wunder stated. “No other state can boast the number of jobs, investments, and innovative cleantech developments that California can.”