A report released by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) says that 66,000 Pennsylvanians work in the clean energy industry. About 53,000 work in energy efficiency, with 8,800 in renewable energy. Clean fuels and alternative transportation employ many as well. A little more than 5,000 work in solar power and about 1,455 work in wind power. Combined heat and power technologies and low-impact hydro also employ a number of workers within the renewable energy group. Some of the clean energy job titles are system installers, researchers, engineers, scientists, construction workers, and manufacturers.
All together, the 66,000 work at 5,900 organizations and in all 67 counties within the state. The top metro areas for clean energy jobs are:
- Philadelphia, 22,000 jobs
- Pittsburgh, 13,000
- Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, 3,400
- Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, 3,200
- Harrisburg-Carlisle, 3,200
“What we’ve found is that clean energy has created tens of thousands of jobs all across Pennsylvania. And if the Commonwealth’s lawmakers support commonsense policies to make clean energy and energy efficiency even more readily available to the public, we’ll see tens of thousands more of these good-paying jobs,” explained Bob Keefe, E2’s executive director.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information, U.S. Department of Energy data, and a survey completed by 400 businesses across Pennsylvania served as the basis for the report. The analysis was conducted by BW Research Partnership.
Public policy played a role in the creation of the clean energy jobs sector, such as Act 129 and the renewable energy portfolio. In a York Dispatch guest column, Matt Elliot wrote, “The benefits so far from Act 129 are clear. To date, the program has saved more than 8.7 million megawatt hours of electricity per year, equal to the energy consumed by more than 800,000 homes. The result is over $4 billion in net benefits to consumers by avoiding the significant additional costs to generate and transmit electricity. In the third phase of Act 129’s programs, lasting five years from June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2021, another 6.6 million megawatt hours can be saved. That will result in another $1 billion in net savings from utility investment alone.” Mr. Elliot is the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance’s Executive Director.
Some news about clean energy tends to be about large solar power or wind power installations, but not so much about all the jobs that are created by the projects, so the clean energy jobs analysis and report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) is most welcome. It also corrects the old rhetoric about “jobs vs. the environment” because in some cases taking care of the environment creates jobs.
Image credit: Paul Leiby, Public Domain
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