2012 was quite a significant year for so-called clean jobs. According to a new report by Environmental Entrepreneurs, more than 110,000 clean energy jobs became available last year.
The biggest growth was in the public transportation sector, with more than 43,000 positions opening up last year. Power generation came in second with over 30,000 jobs, most involving solar, wind, and geothermal energy. Solar power alone was pretty significant, providing more than 19,000 jobs.
Unfortunately, wind energy saw a bit of decline in job creation in the fourth quarter of 2012, mostly due to uncertainties of whether the tax credit would be renewed. Now that the credit has been extended, we can expect to see the wind power industry get a little momentum back as development increases.
Not surprisingly, California took the lead with 26,354 job openings, and North Carolina came in second with 10,867 jobs.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, which helped break down the survey, industries related to clean energy are growing significantly faster than the overall economy, with a huge benefit being that many are accessible to job seekers with no college degree. Finally, states with more clean energy action were better equipped at sustaining jobs throughout economic crisis.
Have you seen an increase in clean job opportunities where you live? It sounds like it won’t be long before we will all know at least one person directly involved in the clean energy industry in some way. Excellent news for the economy and the environment.
Image CC licensed by Wayne National Forest: Installing rooftop solar panels.