Earth Day may have come and gone, but new clean-energy projects could make a lasting impact on the economy, the job market and the environment. According to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), such projects could provide up to 46,000 new U.S. jobs during the first quarter of 2012.
The report, "What Clean Energy Jobs? These Clean Energy Jobs!" indicates that clean-energy employers are planning at least 137 projects in 42 states during the first quarter of this year. This report confirms what other studies have suggested – namely, that the clean energy industry is poised for continued growth.
"These numbers show us that our nation's investments in clean energy are paying off," said Judith Albert, E2's executive director.
"The jobs announcements over the three months feature a wide range of companies: major multinational corporations like GE, Nissan, and General Motors, as well as small, entrepreneurial start-ups," the report states. "Innovative companies are also retooling their operations to take advantage of the growth in clean energy."
Key findings from the report:
· Power generation companies announced the most clean energy jobs in the first quarter. Wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and other renewable energy sectors announced 68 projects that together would create more than 18,000 jobs.
· Manufacturing companies making everything from electric vehicles to solar panels and wind turbine parts announced 35 projects in the quarter that would create more than 10,000 jobs. "These announcements mirror findings recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which determined that the manufacturing sector leads in the creation of 'green goods and services' jobs that now employ a total of 3.1 million Americans," the report stated.
· Many of the first-quarter job announcements were connected to federal, state or local projects, ranging from building and home efficiency programs in Chicago and Wisconsin to a county-backed solar farm in Florida.
· Connecticut led all states in terms of total clean energy jobs announced in the quarter. Other leading states include Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.
This report is based on job announcements compiled from formal announcements and media reports. It includes projects and programs in various stages of development, mainly in the manufacturing, energy, biofuels and public transportation sectors.
E2, an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a nationwide network of business leaders who advocate for good environmental policy while building economic prosperity. To view E2's report in full, visit http://www.e2.org/cleanjobs.