Clean jobs increased 6% in 2018, 5X faster than statewide job growth
PHILADELPHIA (June 18, 2019) - More than 90,000 Pennsylvanians now work in clean energy after the state added 5,000 jobs in 2018, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data by the national nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and partner organizations Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA), Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN), the Green Building Alliance (GBA) and Sustainable Pittsburgh.
According to Clean Jobs Pennsylvania 2019, since 2014 Pennsylvania has increased its workforce in clean technologies like renewables, energy efficiency, clean vehicles, storage, and grid modernization by nearly 60 percent. Clean energy jobs now account for one out of every three energy jobs in the state and employs more than twice the number of workers (90,772) as Pennsylvania's entire fossil fuel industry (43,306).
"After five straight years of unimpeded jobs growth and expansion, Pennsylvania's clean economy success is a marvel," said Sharon Pillar, E2's Pennsylvania consultant. "Despite years of falling behind our neighbors' increasingly ambitious energy policies, Pennsylvania clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs continue to unlock the massive economic potential our state possesses."
Pennsylvania's clean energy jobs saw some of the fastest growth in 2018, increasing by more than six percent to add over 5,000 jobs. The state remains just outside the top 10 nationally in total clean energy jobs, closing the gap to within just 4,400 jobs of tenth-ranked Virginia.
While Pennsylvania has failed to update its clean energy policies to compete with neighboring states, the state has crafted one of the nation's most diversified clean economies - with established markets in renewable energy, storage, energy efficiency, and clean vehicles benefitting the communities statewide.
Clean Jobs Pennsylvania is available at www.e2.org/cleanjobspa.
"Pennsylvania continues to see its clean energy economy grow and expand. But this is only scratching the surface," said Pillar who is also the convener of the Renewables Work for PA coalition - a group of about 70 renewable energy businesses advocating for stronger renewable energy goals. "If lawmakers can recognize the economic opportunity standing in front of us and seize it with the right smart policies, our clean economy could soon rival any state in the U.S."
Energy efficiency remains the largest clean energy sector in Pennsylvania with nearly 69,000 workers - up from 65,000 in 2017. Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, surpassed 9,000 jobs for the first time in 2018 while the clean vehicles sector saw the largest individual sector growth, adding more than 1,000 jobs (a 15.4% increase from 2017).
"Year after year, energy efficiency puts more and more Pennsylvanians to work in local jobs that cannot be outsourced," said Matt Elliott, Executive Director of the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. "Across the Commonwealth, energy efficiency is helping residents and businesses save energy and save money while growing the local workforce."
Analyzing the state geographically, Clean Jobs Pennsylvania 2019 found there are over 11,000 clean energy jobs in the state's rural areas and 44 percent of the state's clean energy workforce is located outside the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania metro areas. Allegheny led all counties in Pennsylvania with over 11,400 jobs, followed by Philadelphia (8,900) and Montgomery (8,700) counties.
Looking at legislative districts, all 18 of Pennsylvania's congressional districts are home to at least 1,400 clean jobs with 15 supporting over 3,000. In the state legislature, 39 senate districts are home to over 1,000 clean energy jobs while 66 of Pennsylvania's 203 house districts had at least 500 clean energy workers.
"It may seem strange to say this about an industry that now employs more than 90,000, but the clean energy economy is only just getting started in Pennsylvania," said Micah Gold-Markel, owner of Solar States, a Philadelphia-based solar developer. "Solar development has yet to be fully unleashed, energy storage is just beginning to take off, and still clean jobs grew far more here than almost every other state. This report is proof Pennsylvania workers and businesses will be reaping the benefits of clean energy even more in the coming years."
Since 2014, Pennsylvania's clean energy workforce has grown 58 percent from 57,000 to over 90,000. Small businesses are fueling this growth, with two out of every three clean energy workers employed by businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
"This report and these jobs numbers are a signal to Pennsylvania that investing in clean energy solutions is also investing in an equitable and climate resilient economic future," said Anna Shipp, Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. "The energy advancements workers and businesses are producing across Pennsylvania are attracting new jobs, keeping more of our young population in state, and making our energy more reliable, affordable, and local. With the right investments, our clean energy future could be an inspiring example of the triple bottom line in action."
Other highlights from the E2 report:
• Construction (45.9%) and manufacturing (19.8%) make up the majority of clean energy jobs.
• 3,553 Pennsylvanians now work in grid modernization (1,861) and energy storage (1,692)
• Electric power generation jobs using fossil fuels (4,935) employed 4,274 less workers than renewable energy generation jobs (9,209)
• 9.7 percent of Pennsylvanians employed in clean energy are veterans, compared to the national average (6%)
• While fourth overall, Lehigh County led the state in clean jobs per capita with over 25 clean jobs per 1,000 employable residents
• 7,600 Pennsylvanians now work in solar (4,800) and wind energy (2,800)
• 19 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties employ at least 1,000 clean energy workers
State lawmakers have opportunities to pass several key policies in 2019 that would encourage clean energy businesses to expand and create more jobs. These include:
• Lift the energy efficiency investment cap on utilities by passing Senate Bill 232.
• Increase Pennsylvania's Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) from 8% by 2021 to 30% by 2030, with 10% of that coming from in-state solar, by passing House Bill 1195 and Senate Bill 600.
• Implement carbon limits and pricing program by joining the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which caps and prices CO2 pollution from the electricity sector.
• Increase the number of electric vehicles in Pennsylvania by maximizing investments in charging infrastructure under the Volkswagen settlement and legislation like Senate Bill 596.
The 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 2019 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 week and is available at www.usenergyjobs.org. 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.
To speak with business leaders in Pennsylvania who support strong investments in clean energy and their impact on America's economy, please contact Michael Timberlake at (202) 289-2407.
More information about E2's clean energy jobs research can be found at www.e2.org/reports.