Employment in California’s advanced energy industry grew 18% last year – six times the statewide employment growth rate – according to national business association Advanced Energy Economy (AEE).
The report says more than half-a-million California workers spend some or all of their time on advanced energy work, including energy efficiency, advanced electricity generation, biofuels, advanced grid technology and advanced vehicles.
At just over 500,000 workers, advanced energy employs three times as many Californians as the motion picture, TV and radio industry (145,000), as well as more than agriculture, forestry and fishing (475,000). The industry’s workforce tally is also approaching that of the state’s construction sector (750,000); in fact, the report says California has the largest advanced energy industry by employment of any state in the country. Advanced energy employers expect to add 8% more jobs this year, to reach nearly 550,000.
“California is the nation’s leader in advanced energy policy, and that leadership is paying off in jobs for Californians,” comments Graham Richard, CEO of AEE and the AEE Institute, its affiliated nonprofit educational organization. “Advanced energy jobs have grown at a much faster rate than jobs overall, and employers expect that to continue. That’s good news for advanced energy companies and for the California economy.”
Other report findings include the following:
– Energy Efficiency has largest share of advanced energy jobs – 63%, or about 320,000 workers.
– The greatest increase in number of jobs in 2015 came in advanced generation, with nearly 80% of these jobs in solar. Advanced generation employment grew 50% over 2014, creating almost 48,000 new jobs.
– Employment more than doubled in the advanced grid segment (smart grid, storage, electric vehicle charging technologies).
– Advanced transportation (hybrid, electric, natural gas vehicles) saw impressive growth, adding just under 7,000 new workers, 65% more than in 2014.
– Only advanced fuels lost jobs last year (50%, about 8,000 jobs), including biofuels and biomass, impacted by low oil and gasoline prices.
– California’s advanced energy workforce is quite diverse, with 38% being racial/ethnic minorities.
– The state has nearly 43,000 companies engaged in advanced energy as part or all of their business activity.
“With triple the job growth rate of any other sector in our state, clean energy is a major source of job creation in California,” says State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles. “This report shows that policy supporting clean energy is not just good for California’s environment and air, but also good for our economy.”
More on the report is available here.