Clean energy added jobs 50% faster than overall energy industry

DENVER – Nearly 64,000 clean energy workers are employed in Colorado across every county after the sector added 2,700 workers last year. That’s according to a new analysis of employment data released today by the national, nonpartisan business group E2, the Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA), and the Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC) during an Energy Future forum conference co-hosted by E2, the Cleantech Business Coalition, and Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

According to the ninth annual Clean Jobs Colorado report, clean energy accounted for 4 percent of all net new jobs as the state’s clean energy workforce was powered by a 14 percent increase in clean vehicle jobs and a 6 percent increase in storage, battery, and grid modernization jobs. Since 2020, Colorado’s clean energy workforce has grown 11 percent faster than overall employment and 50 percent faster than employment in the overall energy industry.

Energy efficiency continued to lead the state’s overall energy workforce, accounting for close to a quarter of all energy jobs in Colorado and 56 percent of all clean energy jobs. Renewable energy came in second with 18,000 jobs followed by 4,600 jobs in clean vehicles—an increase of nearly 50% since 2020. Colorado was also one of only six states to have more than 5,000 workers in both solar and wind industries as the two sectors combined to account for more than 16,000 of all renewable energy jobs.

Nationwide, clean energy added 127,000 jobs last year and now employs more than 3.3 million workers across more than 3,000 counties 2020—accounting for more than 3 percent of all U.S. jobs added in 2022. Over the past two years clean energy jobs have grown by more than 10 percent, faster than the overall energy industry and overall U.S. employment.

Susan Nedell, E2 Mountain West advocate:

“Our analysis shows once again why a strong clean energy economy is more important than ever before. Clean energy jobs are not only critical to the health of the energy industry but also increasingly important driving Colorado’s overall economy forward. And this trend will only increase in the coming years as clean energy jobs make up more and more of new jobs, so if our lawmakers want to keep and continue attracting these good paying jobs to Colorado we need their support for policies that can ensure Colorado workers and businesses reap the economic benefits from the clean energy transition.”

Patricia Rothwell, EEBC Executive Director:

“As energy efficiency is the largest energy employment sector in the state, this shows once again the importance of supporting policies and programs that advance long-term economic vitality and growth of the energy efficiency industry in Colorado.”

Mike Kruger, COSSA President and CEO:

“This report once again demonstrates the strength of Colorado’s solar energy and storage sectors. Proven by these new numbers, Colorado remains one of the most promising regions for renewable energy and energy storage development. And as the new clean energy projects announced in the past year have shown, Colorado is proving it can compete with anyone for future workers and investment.”

Other Highlights from Clean Jobs Colorado 2023:

  • Colorado was #18 nationally for total clean energy jobs
  • Colorado was #6 nationally in total wind and solar jobs
  • Denver and Colorado Springs led all metros for the most clean energy jobs, with 38,300 and 5,600 jobs respectively.
  • Denver County was home to the greatest number of clean energy workers with nearly 12,700 total jobs across all clean energy sectors, followed by Arapahoe County (7,300 jobs) and Jefferson County (6,100 jobs).
  • Yuma County led all counties in job growth with a more than 100 percent increase in clean energy jobs in 2022 as the county’s clean energy workforce grew to 142. Clear Creek County was second in clean energy job growth with a 60 percent jump, followed by Logan and Kit Carson counties that each saw a 30 percent increase in jobs.
  • Broomfield County and Logan County led all counties with the greatest number of clean energy jobs per capita with 82 and 67 clean energy workers per 1,000 overall county jobs respectively.
  • 22,000 Colorado clean energy jobs were in construction and manufacturing.

For more information and interview requests, please contact Michael Timberlake at (913) 645-9103 or mtimberlake@e2.org.

Methodology:

This analysis of U.S. clean energy employment is based on employment data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership for the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER). The USEER analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) to track employment across many energy production, transmission and distribution subsectors. In addition, the 2023 USEER relies on a unique supplemental survey of 33,000 business representatives across the United States. Created and conducted by BW Research, the methodology has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This survey is used to identify energy-related employment within key subsectors of the broader industries as classified by the BLS and to assign them into their component energy and energy efficiency sectors.

Previous E2 and CET Jobs Reports:

Additional Information: 

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E2 is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see http://www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

The Energy Efficiency Business Coalition (EEBC) is a statewide trade association that represents manufacturers, distributors, and contractors selling, installing, and marketing energy efficiency products and services in Colorado. The EEBC is one of a few organizations in the nation whose primary focus is to increase the business potential of the energy efficiency industry, at the local level. The member-funded coalition works with utilities, municipalities, and state legislature to promote energy efficiency policies and programs that support its members’ businesses.

Established in 1989, the Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA) is the award-winning nonprofit association leading Colorado’s solar and storage industries. Our mission is to expand solar and storage markets and to generate jobs and prosperity for the people of Colorado. Together with hundreds of solar and storage business members we work to advance clean energy policies, remove market barriers, highlight emerging trends, and increase solar and storage education. 

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