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Published on June 4th, 2012 | by Adam Johnston


California Renewable Energy Job Growth Strong Even in Tough Times

June 4th, 2012 by  

OK, so we know that job growth in the clean energy or renewable energy sector has outpaced the rest of the economy. However, a recent report from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) suggests that the clean energy sector has far outpaced job growth in the California economy, despite two major recessions.

Its report, Seven Growth Sectors Driving California’s Clean and Efficient Economy, points to promoting a clean energy policy within the state, showing that doing so makes good economic sense, while it also helps to drive down greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost two-thirds of the clean energy sector job growth within California has come from manufacturing and installations across various sectors. This is due to innovate policies supporting local companies, said Tim O’Connor, Director of EDF’s California Climate Initiative in a press release on the new report.

“It’s abundantly clear that California’s clean and efficient energy sectors are a safe, recession proof bet for continued growth and prosperity throughout the state,” he said.

The study looked at seven sectors that are helping to drive California’s long term growth in the renewable energy industry:

In the fifteen-year period between January 1995 and 2010, job creation within California’s seven clean energy sectors grew by an astonishing 109%, while the general economy, in comparison, grew by only 12% in the same period, the study reported.

“Though nearly every region in the state saw an economic boost in the seven green sectors highlighted in the report, some are fairing extremely well,” said Jackie Roberts, EDF’s Director of Sustainable Technologies and chief architect of the report.

“For example, Orange County has beaten out all other parts of the state for clean and efficient economic growth over the past 20 years – a real sign that California’s climate and energy policies should have bipartisan support,” she said.

Orange County, out of all the counties within the state, showed the most job growth within the seven sectors between 1995 and 2010 (178%), followed by the Central Coast region (169%), Sacramento region (167%), and the Bay area (143%).

The report is a showing tale that California remains strong in the clean energy job game, which is good for the state.

Photo Credit: The California Energy Commission

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About the Author

Is currently studying at the School of the Environment Professional Development program in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto. Adam graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications. Adam also writes for Solar Love and also owns his own part time tax preparation business. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst, and is currently sharpening his skills as a renewable energy writer. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or at

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