Clean energy grew faster than overall workforce in 2021

PITTSBURGH, PA – U.S. employment across clean energy technologies grew more than 5  percent in 2021, combining to add 156,000 jobs and totaling 3.2 million nationwide according to new data from the 2022 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER) released today by the Department of Energy (DOE). Two years after the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out more than 600,000 clean energy jobs, the industry has recovered nearly 75 percent of the jobs lost.

According to the seventh annual USEER report, clean energy outpaced overall energy-sector job growth in 2021 with employment among electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles increasing 25 percent alone. Overall, clean energy workers now hold 41 percent of all energy-sector related jobs.

The following is a statement from Bob Keefe, executive director of the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs):

“What this year’s data shows is clean energy remains one of America’s best bets. There is no other sector that exists in every state that comes with this sort of job growth potential.

“The message to members of Congress is clear. If you want good-paying jobs in your state and district, you should be supporting climate and clean energy policies like the comprehensive package that has been sitting in Congress since last year.”

According to the report, across clean energy, energy efficiency led all sectors with more than 2.1 million jobs followed by renewable energy (515,000), clean vehicles (340,000), grid modernization and storage (146,000), and biofuels (39,000).

E2 has been involved with the USEER since its conception in 2015. Keefe was among business and government leaders who joined DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm at the U.S. Steelworkers headquarters in Pittsburgh for the release of the 2022 USEER report. For more details, see Keefe’s blog here.

What is a Clean Energy Job?

E2 has used the same definition for clean energy jobs since the first USEER was released in 2016. Employment in clean energy includes solar energy, wind energy, combined heat and power, bioenergy, non-woody biomass and other biofuels, low-impact hydro power, geothermal, electric and hybrid vehicles, electric vehicle charging and batteries, clean storage, smart grid, micro grid, grid modernization, advanced biofuels, and energy efficiency including ENERGYSTAR and high efficiency appliances, efficient lighting, HVAC, renewable heating and cooling, and advanced building materials.

Additional Information: 


Environmental Entrepreneurs (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 or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.


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