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Clean Power 3Q 2013 US Green Jobs

Published on December 4th, 2013 | by Silvio Marcacci

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15,000 New Green Jobs Announced Across America In 3Q 2013

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December 4th, 2013 by
 

Temperatures may have started to cool across America as summer turned to fall, but the clean energy economy remained red hot, announcing 15,000 new green jobs in third quarter (3Q) 2013.

80 projects ranging from renewables to recycling and clean transportation were announced in 30 states, according to the latest green jobs report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

E2 credited stable pro-renewable state policies for much of the new green jobs growth, but the report also warned of a looming slowdown across the wind energy industry if the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) is allowed to expire at the end of 2013.

Mixed Results For Green Jobs In 3Q

E2’s 3Q green jobs report paints a mixed picture for the overall strength of America’s clean energy economy. On one hand, far more new jobs were created in 3Q 2013 compared to 3Q 2012, which saw just 10,800 new jobs announced. But on the other hand, 3Q 2013’s jobs tally was less than half of the 38,600 jobs announced in 2Q 2013.

While 3Q’s total job announcements were much lower than 2Q, green jobs growth was much more diverse this quarter. Usual suspects like California, New York, Michigan, and Texas led the pack in total projects and jobs, but non-traditional clean energy states like Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee also ranked in the top 10 with roughly 15% of all new green jobs.

These states may be diverse in geography and economy, but one common theme is apparent in them all – stable state policies. Of the top five states for overall job announcements, only Texas does not have a statewide renewable energy target in place.

Renewable energy goals have been credited with turning California into the epicenter of the US clean tech market and Michigan into a burgeoning wind powerhouse, but they’ve also spurred growth in states like Nevada, which saw five new solar projects thanks to a 25% renewables by 2025 goal.

Policy Certainty Makes A Huge Difference

Similar to past reports, renewable energy technologies created the most green jobs, even as the wind industry braces for 2014. Solar energy kept shining with nearly 6,700 total jobs while the wind industry’s tailwinds chipped in nearly 1,800 jobs.

E2 notes the difference between stable and instable policy by comparing solar to wind. While the solar industry’s stable long-term Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has helped it generate 19,200 jobs during 2013, the wind industry has shown much slower growth of just 6,300 jobs this year – despite the PTC’s one-year renewal.

Even though wind may be slowing, America’s clean energy manufacturing industry kept pace with just under 3,300 green jobs across commodities like clean transportation, renewables, energy storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency.

Will Politics Hamper Diverse Economic Growth?

As a whole, E2’s reports continue to show the economic contributions clean energy can make across the country, regardless of political affiliation. Take a few minutes to scan E2’s clean energy jobs database, and the diversity of America’s clean energy economy is apparent.

But they also once again show the importance stable government policy holds for the transition toward America’s sustainable future. “Clean energy policies have a real impact on workers,” said Judith Albert, E2’s executive director. “Washington, DC may be far removed from what’s happening in the heartland, but wind industry workers there will feel the pinch as the wind tax credit expires.”

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About the Author

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate-focused public relations company based in Washington, D.C.



  • ebonystone

    “… wind industry workers there will feel the pinch as the wind tax credit expires.”

    Maybe tax-payers will get some relief when the wind industry starts paying its fair share of taxes.

    • A Real Libertarian

      But why not the oil industry?

      • ebonystone

        Because the article is about wind power, not oil.

        • A Real Libertarian

          So hypocrisy?

          • ebonystone

            No, staying OT.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So why does wind have to give up the PTC when coal, nuclear, gas and oil are allowed to keep it and so much more?

          • ebonystone

            The article is about all the jobs created by wind-power, NOT about coal, nuclear, gas, or oil.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You’re dodging the question.

            It’s utterly hypocritical to expect wind to give up their tax breaks when coal, nuclear, gas and oil are allowed the same things and other things wind could never expect.

            So why do you say “Maybe tax-payers will get some relief when the wind industry starts paying its fair share of taxes.” when taxpayers would get much more relief if the others started?

          • ebonystone

            O.K. why limit the discussion to just energy producers? We could talk about the tax breaks given to hotel chains, trucking companies, airlines, manufacturers, universities, professional sports, etc. All are valid topics.
            But the article was about wind power and its tax breaks, so that is the topic I addressed.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So do you agree that wind should give up its tax breaks only when its competitors do?

          • ebonystone

            Do you agree that when three men rob a bank, and one of them is caught, that he shouldn’t be tried or jailed unless and until the other two are caught?

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Do you agree that when three men rob a bank, and one of them is caught, that he shouldn’t be tried or jailed unless and until the other two are caught?”

            If the other two are right there but aren’t being arrested, then yes, selective prosecution is a defense for a reason.

            What does this have to do with tax breaks?

          • ebonystone

            Well, your position is that the wind industry shouldn’t have its tax breaks eliminated (‘be jailed” in my analogy) unless other energy sources also have their tax breaks (if any) eliminated as well.

          • A Real Libertarian

            How is accepting tax breaks like robbing a bank?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Well, in the good old American spirit of fair play, don’t you think that the right thing to do?

            Especially as those other sources have received massively more support than has wind?

            Or do you uphold the idea of playing favorites?

          • ebonystone

            Playing favorites is what our government does all the time.

          • A Real Libertarian

            So it’s OK as long as their favorites and your favorites are the same?

          • ebonystone

            I said nothing of the sort; read my post.

          • A Real Libertarian

            You said tax breaks for wind are wrong but when it’s pointed others get the same tax breaks you just say “that’s off topic”.

          • Bob_Wallace

            So what?

            You’d rather we backed bad ideas?

          • ebonystone

            I’d rather we didn’t, which is why I don’t like special breaks for wind power.
            And the list of bad ideas backed by the government would fill pages. But just because we’ve backed lots of bad ideas, that’s no reason to back another.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We’ve backed up wind and the cost has fallen from $0.38/kWh to $0.04/kWh.
            We’ve backed up nuclear with vastly more money and the cost keeps rising.
            Which was the good idea and which was the bad one?

          • A Real Libertarian

            You mean like the internet?

            So you don’t like “special breaks” for wind power but the same “special breaks” are a-OK when given to winds competitors?

            What is your solution?

          • ebonystone

            Why can’t you stay OT? The article was about jobs created by the wind industry. And I commented on that. Not on coal, oil, or nuclear.

          • A Real Libertarian

            “Maybe tax-payers will get some relief when the wind industry starts paying its fair share of taxes.”

            You said that.

            Now it seems to me that you can’t cheer for wind “paying its fair share of taxes” and think winds competitors not paying is a good thing.

            Can I get a thumbs up from everyone who thinks ebonystone is getting pretty pathetic in their attempts to dodge the question?

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’d say that when they are all caught one of them shouldn’t be hung and the others sent home with a bag of donuts.

          • ebonystone

            And if the other two are never caught?

          • A Real Libertarian

            And if this has nothing to do with what we’re discussing because tax breaks and bank robbing are in no way remotely similar?

          • Bob_Wallace

            Are you going to get all silly on us?

    • Bob_Wallace

      So you’re opposed to your electricity bill getting cheaper?

      • ebonystone

        No, but I do like the idea of lower taxes. And I think that, without the special breaks — in taxes or otherwise — for the wind industry, both taxes and electricity bills would go down.

        • A Real Libertarian

          “And I think that, without the special breaks — in taxes or otherwise — for the wind industry, both taxes and electricity bills would go down.”

          Hike taxes on the cheapest source of electricity and taxes and electricity bills go down?

          You heard of this new thing called logic by any chance?

          • ebonystone

            If wind power is so cheap, why are utilities forced, by law, to buy it?

          • A Real Libertarian

            If driving sober is such a good idea, why are people forced, by law, to do it?

          • ebonystone

            To quote Mr. Wallace: “Are you going to get all silly on us?”

          • A Real Libertarian

            So you have no answer?

          • Bob_Wallace

            In order to help kickstart the industry.

            We, the taxpayers, did exactly the same thing for computers, satellite communications and a ton of other stuff.

          • ebonystone

            I don’t recall that AT&T was forced to use communication satellites.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Quit trying to be the clever debater. You’re not any good at it.

          • ebonystone

            You’re no great shakes yourself.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I’m not trying to debate with you.

            I’m trying to give you some facts.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Wind is lowering the cost of electricity in Texas.

          Wind and solar have lowered the cost of electricity in Germany.

          Those are permanent price decreases. Cuts in fossil fuel purchases which will never have to purchased again. A long term investment that is paying off.

          Aren’t you willing to invest a little in order to save a lot? Or do you subscribe to the philosophy “Penny wise, pound foolish”?

          • ebonystone

            Sure, lower the taxes on something enough and you lower its cost. But that lost tax revenue is made up by other taxes, so that the overall cost is just as much.
            A number of European countries that were enthusiastic about wind power a few years ago are now having second thoughts about it. Generators require more maintenance than claimed, they don’t last as long as claimed, and the complex switching systems needed to keep this highly variable power source connected to the national grid are hideously expensive.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “Generators require more maintenance than claimed, they don’t last as long as claimed, and the complex switching systems needed to keep this highly variable power source connected to the national grid are hideously expensive.”

            Please back up your claim with a factual source.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Oh, and back this one up as well…

            “A number of European countries that were enthusiastic about wind power a few years ago are now having second thoughts about it.”

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