California Home to 1 out of 7 U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

San Francisco, August 20, 2019 – More than 512,000 Californians worked in clean energy in 2018, accounting for one out of every seven clean energy jobs nationwide according to a new analysis of energy jobs data to be delivered to California lawmakers Tuesday by a delegation of over a dozen state business leaders.

Released today by the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), Clean Jobs California 2019  found that the state’s clean energy workforce accounts for more than half the state’s entire energy sector workforce (946,728).  Clean energy jobs also now employ more than five times more workers than the state’s entire fossil fuel industry (89,015).  The E2 delegation will also be providing each lawmaker with district-level clean energy economy investment and job fact sheets, complementing the state-wide Clean Jobs California 2019 report.

Advertisement

The delegation— made up of representatives across a range of clean energy industries including EV charging infrastructure, utility scale solar, and energy efficiency solutions— is set to meet with 28 lawmaker offices, including meetings with members of the State Senate and State Assembly as well as with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.  In addition to providing clean energy economy data, the delegation will also provide the business case in support of SB 54/AB 1080, The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act.  In recognition of the economic opportunity presented by addressing our plastic waste crisis- and the economic consequences of inaction – 200 E2 members and supporters signed a letter of support encouraging passage of this critical policy.

“Year after year, clean energy provides immense value to the California economy – creating thousands of good-paying jobs, protecting the environment for future growth,  and attracting billions in investments” said Andy Wunder, E2 Western States Advocate. “California lawmakers have a responsibility to ensure those jobs, and the state’s clean energy economy, continue to grow by strengthening and implementing forward-looking policies.”

Energy efficiency remains the largest clean energy sector in California with nearly 319,000 workers – up from 310,400 in 2017. Renewable generation, led by solar (126,500 jobs), accounted for the second-most clean energy jobs (143,700) while the clean vehicles sector added over 4,000 jobs (22,300 jobs total) for a 22 percent increase from 2017.

“These jobs numbers are proof clean energy solutions not only benefit California workers and businesses, but are vital to the state’s future economic success,” said Zach Amittay, E2 Advocate.

Analyzing the state geographically, Clean Jobs California 2019 found that San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego metros accounted for about three out of every five clean jobs in the state, while 21 percent of all jobs came from metro areas with populations under 1 million. Additionally, 11,000 clean energy jobs were located in California’s rural areas.

All 58 California counties were home to clean energy workers in 2018, with 18 supporting more than 6,800. Los Angeles led all counties in with more than 94,341 jobs, followed by Orange (54,373) and Santa Clara (52,552) counties. By density, Yolo and San Francisco counties led the state, both supporting over 50 clean energy jobs per 1,000 employable residents.

At the federal district level, all 53 California congressional districts supported over 2,000 clean jobs with 19 districts home to over 10,000. In the state legislature, 24 of the state’s 40 senate districts had at least 10,000 clean energy jobs while 78 house districts were home to at least 1,000.

E2’s delegation of business leaders also plans on supporting the California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019 (SB 1) and opposing policy that would impede EV adoption by creating payment barriers and undermine efforts to ensure universal access to public charging stations (AB 1424).

“California is a clean energy economic juggernaut,” said Wunder. “No other state can boast the number of jobs, investments, and innovative cleantech developments California can, making it all the more important for lawmakers to ensure these industries can continue their robust growth for years to come. America’s growing global clean energy marketplace needs California’s strong policy signals to succeed and expand.”  

Other highlights from Clean Jobs California 2019:

  • More than 57% of California clean energy workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 20 employees
  • If included in E2’s state rankings, Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas would rank no. 5 and no. 10 respectively. If combined, the two metros would be the no. 2 state for clean energy jobs in the U.S.
  • Clean vehicle technologies is the only industry California does not rank first in for jobs, trailing Michigan by fewer than 3,000 jobs
  • Nearly four out of every ten U.S. solar jobs are in California
  • Californian clean energy employers project nearly 10% growth in jobs in 2019
  • Bioenergy and combined heat and power made up the second most renewable generation jobs (7,212), followed by wind (5,785)
  • Construction (50.7%) accounts for half of California’s clean energy jobs.
  • 22,800 Californians now work in grid modernization (6,166) and energy storage (16,633)
  • 9.7 % of Californians employed in clean energy are veterans – far above the national average (6%)

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 are based 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). 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.

More information about E2’s clean energy jobs research can be found at www.e2.org/reports.

Additional Resources:

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.