Jobs in clean tech in America are outpacing employment in the fossil fuel sector. According to Clean Jobs Cities,
“The Top 50 metro areas for clean jobs now employ 1.8 million workers in clean energy technologies, accounting for more than one out of every two clean energy jobs in the country — which alone outnumbers the fossil fuel industry by around 700,000. These are Americans who go to work each day making downtown skyscrapers more energy efficient; manufacturing Energy Star appliances and clean vehicles; installing solar panels on urban warehouses and suburban homes.
“Unsurprisingly, the country’s biggest metropolitan areas – New York and Los Angeles – have the most clean energy workers. But smaller and mid-sized metro areas across every region in the continental US – such as Detroit, San Diego, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Atlanta – all rank high on the list.”
In a statement e-mailed to CleanTechnica, Bob Keefe, executive director of environmental advocacy group E2, says, “Cities are seeing the benefits of shifting to clean energy, with jobs and economic growth. These are good jobs in energy efficiency, construction, manufacturing, renewable energy and clean fuels and vehicles. And they shouldn’t be ignored by lawmakers as they’re considering state and federal energy policies.” E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) “is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors and others who advocate for smart policies that are good for the environment and good for the economy.”
Dave Belote, CEO of Virginia Beach-based renewable energy consulting firm Dare Strategies, says clean energy jobs are more important than ever to coastal economies like his, which ranked #34 in the Clean Jobs Cities Top 50.
“I’m from a coastal community that has been slow to recover from the recession. At the same time, it is threatened by recurrent flooding and sea level rise. With an incredible deep water port and well-trained, veteran-heavy workforce, we have a chance to create a hub for an Atlantic offshore wind industry that will diversify and improve the regional economy while slowing or reversing climate change. From a jobs standpoint, what could be more important?”
For an interactive map of the US showing all 50 of the leading cities for clean tech jobs, follow this link to the Clean Jobs Cities website. The chart below breaks down which clean tech jobs are available in each of the top 50 cities.
There is fear in some quarters that clean tech is causing workers in the fossil fuel sector to lose their jobs, but the truth is the workplace is changing just as it always has. The important thing is not to shout into the wind about the loss of jobs in one area but rather to embrace the increase in good paying jobs in emerging areas. The proper role of government is not to try to turn back the clock but to make certain that workers have the skills and the knowledge to take advantage of new opportunities.