Even in the midst of a severe economic crisis, recent evidence has emerged indicating that clean energy industry jobs remain a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy economy, and will continue to generate job growth in the years ahead.
A report released this week by the Pew Charitable Trusts revealed that between 1998 and 2007, clean tech jobs grew at more than double the rate of all other jobs.
Another report released this week by a UC Berkeley professor found that accelerating deployment of renewable energy resources in California would accelerate job growth in the years ahead, with the possibility of generating over 500,000 new jobs over the next 40 years.
Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the overall number of clean energy jobs was fast gaining on the number of jobs in the fossil fuel industry. The Pew report found that fossil fuel jobs amounted to 1.27 million workers in 2007 while there were approximately 770,000 clean energy jobs the same year.
The reports found that the major beneficiaries of the expanding clean energy industry is local economies. Whereas fossil fuel industry dollars overwhelmingly sends money overseas, clean energy results in more dollars staying local – with more money spent on solar installers, sales people, contractors, and farmers who grow feedstock to produce biofuels. Money spent locally also recycles within the local economy, benefiting numerous businesses, workers, and families.
In addition, according to an analysis of both reports by John Gartner of Matter Network, a clean tech website,
money saved by consumers on energy efficiency is the most potent local economy stimulus. A dollar taken off the energy bill will be spent on other things that will equal from 10 to 100 dollars in wages for new workers.
For millions of Americans who are currently out of work, these reports provide a measure of hope for a brighter future.
You can find a link to the full Pew Charitable Trusts report here.