Powering North Carolina’s Economy with Clean Energy

Entering 2020, North Carolina’s clean energy sector had grown for a fifth straight year since E2 began tracking U.S. clean energy employment, increasing to account for 52% of all energy sector employment in North Carolina. And, since North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) began tracking clean energy jobs in 2007, annual clean energy jobs have grown over 690%.

Totaling 112,720 jobs at the end of 2019, North Carolina has lost nearly 19% of its clean energy jobs since due to the COVID-19 economic crisis. More than 511,000 workers across the U.S. clean energy economy, including 21,200 in North Carolina, remain unemployed since the pandemic began in March. Before the crisis, clean energy jobs in North Carolina were growing nearly 50% faster than overall statewide employment.

This development means clean energy jobs are more critical than ever to North Carolina’s economy as the state has become a Southeast and national leader in clean energy jobs. In 2019, North Carolina trailed only Florida in total jobs in the region and ranked among among the top 10 states in the country for employment across a variety of clean energy workforce categories—including solar energy, energy efficiency, and grid modernization—including 9th for total overall clean energy jobs.

E2 and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s 2nd Clean Jobs North Carolina 2020 reports details the sheer size of this important employment sector, and how focusing on clean energy can help us build back our economy better and faster after COVID-19.


  • Energy Efficiency – 88,001 jobs
  • Renewable Energy –12,349 jobs
    • Solar Energy – 8,912 jobs
    • Wind Energy – 1,054 jobs
  • Clean Vehicles – 7,105 jobs
  • Clean Storage – 1,432 jobs
  • Grid Modernization – 2,296 jobs
  • ALL Clean Energy Sectors – 112,720 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 www.usenergyjobs.org. E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fifth  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 North Carolina 2020 or our other Clean Jobs America reports, visit e2.org/reports. You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake (mtimberlake@e2.org). An FAQ is also available here to answer any questions.


Clean Jobs North Carolina 2020 is the 2nd statewide clean energy jobs report from E2. Previous reports can be accessed in the below links.

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