Clean Energy Businesses Play a Vital Role in Growing Minnesota’s Economy
In Minnesota, the clean energy industry employs more than 54,000 workers according to recent analysis unveiled by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, Clean Energy Trust, and Environmental Entrepreneurs in conjunction with BW Research. The analysis – available at www.CleanJobsMidwest.com – is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and was included as part of a major U.S. Department of Energy study of all energy jobs in America.
Minnesota businesses project the state’s clean energy workforce will grow by 4.4 percent over the next twelve months, adding more than 2,300 new jobs. By comparison, the national average employment growth over the next 10 years is projected at around 0.5 percent per year. The burgeoning clean energy industry is driven, in large part, by entrepreneurs and small businesses with nearly 80 percent of clean energy businesses in Minnesota employing fewer than 25 employees.
Clean Energy Employment Map by County:
Energy efficiency is the largest clean energy technology sector in the state, employing more than 47,000 people, or 87 percent of Minnesota’s clean energy workforce. Renewable energy generation jobs account for more than 5,300 jobs with about 2,700 in solar and 2,100 in wind. The remaining jobs reside in the sectors of advanced transportation, clean fuels, and advanced grid.
Within the clean energy value chain, installation and maintenance jobs represent nearly 42,000 people or 77 percent of all jobs, followed by trade and distribution with almost 7,000 jobs or 13 percent of total jobs. Professional, manufacturing, engineering and research, and other round out the job function categories with a combined total of over 5,700 clean energy jobs.
Minnesota’s clean energy industry is also diverse. Racial and ethnic minorities comprise over 14,000 jobs or 26 percent of the industry workforce followed by women with over 10,000 workers or 19 percent of clean energy jobs. Veterans hold over 5,100 jobs or 10 percent of the workforce and those age 55+ comprise over 4,300 workers or eight percent of the workforce. While diverse, three quarters of employers surveyed report difficulty hiring due to lack of experience, we well as training and education as leading factors.
State and federal policies have played an important role in growing clean energy jobs. A majority of Minnesota businesses surveyed mentioned the federal renewable energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as contributing to business growth. In addition, firms cited Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) as policies that provide market certainty for the renewable energy generation and energy efficiency sectors to expand and become more established.
For additional information and to access the comprehensive analysis, we encourage you to visit www.CleanJobsMidwest.com.