Clean energy and sustainable transportation projects launched this year created nearly 40,000 new green jobs in America during the second quarter (2Q) of 2013.
From renewables to energy efficiency and public transportation, America’s transition to a clean energy economy is well underway, reports the latest green jobs report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
E2’s 2013 second quarter clean energy and transportation jobs report tracks job announcements from private companies, elected officials, and media outlets to paint a picture of economic growth that’s outpacing the overall economy and creating a sustainable future – for America’s economy and environment.
38,600 Green Jobs Across Nearly 60 Projects
Nearly 60 projects were either announced or launched in 27 states during 2Q 2013, according to E2’s report. These projects will create 38,600 green jobs, slightly higher than the 37,400 green jobs E2 tracked in 2Q 2012, and on pace to surpass the 110,000 total green jobs created in 2012.
Renewable energy generation was led by solar power and wind energy, representing 31 projects and nearly half of the total green jobs outlook, with more than 13,300 new openings – more than any other sector.
Solar energy projects represented a whopping 10,400 green jobs, equaling 75% of all power generation and 25% of all green jobs. Not to be outdone, wind energy projects chipped in more than 2,500 new positions, up from just 800 in the first quarter.
Public transportation and smart grid/transmission projects followed closely behind renewables, with 9,600 and 8,200 jobs respectively, while energy efficiency rounded out the pack with 5,700 jobs announced.
Interestingly, E2’s analysis didn’t seem to include the fast-growing green building industry, which represented 44% of all US construction jobs in 2012 and could top $140 billion in annual revenue in 2013, according to a recent report from the US Green Building Council.
Economic Growth Without Geographic Or Political Boundaries
Unsurprisingly, California led all states in both total green jobs and projects announced during 2Q. The “epicenter of the US clean tech market” tallied 12 total wind, solar, biofuels, and transportation projects creating 9,169 total jobs.
Newcomers managed to shake up the top ten list of green jobs by state, disregarding political affiliations and rural versus urban demographics. Hawaii surged into second place with 5,000 new positions on the strength of a $300 million government building energy efficiency effort, and Maryland ranked third with 4,400 total jobs propelled by a $2.6 billion, 20-station, 14-mile Baltimore light rail project.
Once again, good economics knows no political boundaries, with new projects and new jobs springing up in Republican and Democratic congressional districts. Several districts saw multiple project announcements, but California’s 51st district led the way with 901 total jobs, more than double the second-place showing of 414 green jobs in Nevada’s 3rd district.
Toward A Green Economic Future?
But the best may be yet to come, as President Obama formulates the specific details of his climate change mitigation plan. A recent analysis of the economic impacts of cutting carbon by the Natural Resources Defense Council found cutting carbon from power plants alone could create 210,000 jobs – let alone what stable policy for renewable energy could do.
So as America gets ready to enjoy the Labor Day holiday, it’s important to once again consider the potential of a clean energy economy. Green jobs help build a better future in every regard – cleaner air, a healthier environment, and stable jobs.