Report: 37 million “green-collar” jobs by 2030

An industry forecast predicts that the number of U.S. jobs focused on  renewable and efficient energy will more than quadruple from the 2007 figure.


According to the Green Collar Jobs Report—produced by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) --the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries accounted for more than 9 million jobs and more than $1 billion in U.S. revenue in 2007. If current growth trends continue, those numbers could jump to 37 million jobs and more than $4 billion revenue.

The research—conducted by Washington, D.C.-based Management Information Services Inc. --indicates that in recent years, the renewable energy industry has grown three times as fast as the U.S. economy. The sectors leading the charge--solar thermal, photovoltaic, biodiesel, and ethanol technology--each showed annual growth of more than 25%. The hottest jobs in the green-collar area include engineers and electrical professionals.

“There’s a new sense of optimism in the green economy,” said Brad Collins, ASES executive director. “But while the U.S. could see million of new jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency, this will only happen with the necessary leadership, research, development, and public policy at the federal and state levels.”

Collins said key steps to green-collar job growth include a national renewable portfolio standard, long-term extension of the production tax credit, effective net metering policies, and improved access to electric transmission infrastructure.

The report predicted possible outcomes, based on federal and state policy changes. The most modest scenario laid out—assuming only moderate policy improvements--forecasts 19.5 million jobs and more than $2 billion in revenue by 2030.

Other report conclusions:
* 95% of the jobs are in private industry.
* The anticipated 37 generated jobs will represent more than 17% of all anticipated U.S. employment.
* Hot job areas include electricians, mechanical engineers, welders, metal workers, construction managers, accountants, analysts, environmental scientists, and chemists. The vast majority of jobs created by the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries are in the same types of roles seen in other industries (accountants, factory workers, IT professionals, etc).

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