America’s Clean Energy Powerhouse in the Wake of COVID-19

After a fifth straight year of job growth since E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) began tracking U.S. clean energy employment, California’s clean energy economy is facing a torrent of job losses and work freezes so significant it could set the industry back years. What had been one of the nation’s fastest-growing job sectors over the last five years is now one of the fastest-shrinking in the wake of COVID-19-related shutdowns disrupting supply chains and building energy efficiency projects, halting new developments and emptying project pipelines, and slowing investments while wrecking financial outlooks.

Entering 2020, California’s clean energy economy had grown for five straight years since this annual report was first released with clean energy jobs growing to make up 3 percent of the state’s entire workforce. Totaling 537,000 jobs at the end of 2019, California has lost 20% of its clean energy jobs since. More than 620,000 workers across the U.S. clean energy economy, including nearly 110,000 in California, have filed for unemployment since March—reversing the industry’s entire job growth since before 2016.

E2’s Clean Jobs California 2020 details the sheer size of this important employment sector, the troubles it is currently facing due to COVID-19 and how focusing recovery policies on clean energy can get the Golden State’s economy humming again—quickly and for the long run.


  • Energy Efficiency – 323,529 jobs
  • Renewable Energy –142,957 jobs
    • Solar Energy – 124,817 jobs
    • Wind Energy – 2,520 jobs
  • Clean Vehicles – 40,627 jobs
  • Clean Storage – 17,397 jobs
  • Grid Modernization – 6,625 jobs
  • ALL Clean Energy Sectors – 536,919 jobs


The complete report is available for download at this link.

Looking for More Info?

The analysis expands on data from the 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership. The report was released in March 2020and is available at E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration. Clean energy jobs have grown every year since the first report was released in 2016.

If you are looking for additional insight into E2’s Clean Jobs California 2020 or our other Clean Jobs America reports, visit You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake ( An FAQ is also available here to answer any questions.


Clean Jobs America 2020 is the 5th national clean energy jobs report from E2. Previous reports can be accessed in the below links.

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