US – Solar leads the way for clean energy jobs

E2 has been tracking what it defines as clean energy job creation – including public transport schemes which displace cars – by monitoring public announcements since September 2011, and has published a round-up of its first full year of monitoring, in 2012.

The figures showed that, with 15 solar power generation and manufacturing projects announced in the final three months of last year, the solar industry created more than 3,300 jobs in that period – more than wind, biomass, biogas and geothermal combined.

Over the full year, the solar industry created 13,789 jobs in power generation with a further 5,305 positions in manufacturing and 530 jobs in energy storage. Some 3,085 jobs were created in smart transmission and a further 2,238 in the electric vehicles sector.

Solar can also lay claim to a slice of the 8,108 jobs created in the advanced vehicles industry – which includes electric vehicles, hybrids and more efficient vehicles – as well as the 2,946 ‘other’ jobs concerned with support roles for clean energy jobs nationwide.

E2’s figures show the West Coast again led the way for solar, with more than 20 photovoltaic farms announced in 2012 and with California topping the table for clean energy job creation, albeit helped by two major light railway public transport projects.

The report’s authors also note the Midwest, led by Illinois, is becoming a hub for smart transmission upgrade job creation and North Carolina saw 2,000 new jobs created in the electric vehicles sector, helping it to second place in E2’s clean energy job table.

The south east of the U.S. is also benefiting from solar with 13,700 clean manufacturing jobs created in the solar, wind and advanced vehicles sectors in the region, with Florida third in the clean energy job standings.

With Illinois placed fourth; Connecticut, Arizona, New York, Michigan, Texas and Oregon made up the top ten states for clean energy job numbers.