Economy & Jobs

Building a clean energy economy is the best way to create jobs

Building a Clean Energy Economy is the Best Way to Create Jobs

Creating good jobs in the U.S. – jobs that will stay here – is top priority. The industry that can create the most is clean energy.

Wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power generation creates five times as many jobs per unit of power than coal or gas does—good jobs, with learning potential, that can’t be outsourced. Energy efficiency programs create ten times as many jobs.

Clean energy jobs are in engineering, electronics, meteorology, environmental science, project development and management, manufacturing, materials science, equipment maintenance and many other fields. They are in development of more efficient appliances and zero-energy buildings. They are in scores of industries that make up the supply chains of solar panels, wind turbines, LED lights, electric vehicles and computer systems that manage and optimize power use.

New technologies, New Industries to
Revitalize Our Economy

More focus on energy efficiency and low-carbon electricity is stimulating exponential increase in ideas for new products, new technologies and entire new industries. Large amounts of capital are available to fund this development, and needs only policy certainty to invest on a large scale. Clean energy development potential is large enough to become a major driver of economic development—in the West and for the country.

In the West, this development can be in cities and in rural counties in every state. Wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power project development can provide thousands of jobs in rural parts of the West, and property tax revenues from those projects, alongside direct and indirect power plant jobs, can help support local economies. Supply chain and manufacturing jobs can be sited in rural as well as urban areas. In almost every city, rooftop solar, Smart Grid upgrades, energy efficiency retrofits, energy efficient building construction and development of new products can generate more jobs than any other industry.

Meeting Clean Energy Prosperity targets will create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the West over the next 30 years—if we guide our policies toward clean energy goals.