430,000 Clean Energy Jobs Across America’s Rural Regions

Clean energy creates jobs, supports local tax bases and infrastructure development, while providing new opportunities for farmers—driving economic benefits that are becoming ever more apparent. In rural communities facing economic challenges, investments in wind, solar, and energy efficiency are growing. This report from E2 focuses on one part of America – the rural Midwest – that exemplifies the growth in clean energy jobs in rural areas nationwide.

Clean energy employed more than 430,000 people across the rural U.S. in 2017, accounting for 13 percent of nation’s total clean energy jobs. Of these jobs, about 320,000 are in energy efficiency fields while 50,000 are renewable energy jobs.

Key Findings:

  • In 34 states, clean energy jobs account for a larger share of overall employments in rural areas than urban ones
  • Clean energy employment represents a bright spot in rural communities that have otherwise lost population and jobs
  • Energy efficiency alone employs 82,844 more rural workers than fossil fuels
  • 99% of U.S. wind capacity is in rural areas
  • Clean energy accounts for 2.5% of total employment in rural areas

Looking for More Info?

This report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.3 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on data from the 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. E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016. 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 Rural America 2019 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.

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