Business Leaders Say Long-Term Tax Incentives, Implementation of Federal Clean Power Plan Could Lead to Increased Investments
Nearly 47,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced at more than 170 projects across the country in 2014, according to jobs tracking analysis by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
Nevada, California and New York led the nation in new job announcements last year, followed by Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Utah and New Mexico. (Click here to view a map of solar jobs in the U.S.)
Ongoing uncertainty over public policy at both the federal and state levels, coupled with the expiration of beneficial tax policies, has cast a cloud over clean energy industries. This resulted in fewer announcements than in the past. In 2013, for instance, more than 78,000 new clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced at 260 projects.
Since E2 began our jobs analysis three years ago, we’ve tracked more than 233,000 total clean energy and clean transportation jobs nationwide.
“The clean energy revolution continues,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “Nearly 47,000 good-paying jobs in businesses ranging from solar energy to electric vehicles were announced in almost every state last year. The one place in the country that doesn’t seem to get it is Congress. Instead of sitting on Capitol Hill endlessly debating new ways to prop up coal, oil and other dirty energy companies, lawmakers ought to actually look at what’s happening in their states and quit stalling on smart policies that will keep clean energy working for all of America.”
In 2014, the solar industry led all clean energy sectors, thanks to declining materials prices and favorable public policies, including the federal Investment Tax Credit and state Renewable Portfolio Standards. More than 20,000 solar-related jobs were announced at 60-plus projects.
The advanced vehicle sector also had a strong year, with more than 9,000 jobs announced. Tesla Motors’ announcement of a 6,500-employee “Gigafactory” in Nevada was the largest single announcement in any sector all year. In Michigan, General Motors announced plans to hire 1,400 workers for its electric vehicles division.
More from the report:
Results of a new sampling of clean energy and energy efficiency business leaders were unveiled, showing that at least 55 percent would likely increase investment levels if federal clean energy tax incentives are extended. 50 percent said they would increase investment levels if the Clean Power Plan is implemented.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, more than 10,800 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced at 50-plus projects. That was down from 13,000 jobs announced in the comparable quarter a year earlier.
The top 10 states for Q4 alone were: California, Michigan, Nevada, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota.
— Solar Builder magazine