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The Minnesota Legislature makes it easy to identify who represents you in St. Paul. Click here to identify your legislators and contact them to let them know you support clean energy jobs in Minnesota.
Clean energy employs 61,047 Minnesotans. Our state’s clean energy sector has added more than 2,700 jobs since 2017 -- growing more than 2.5 times faster than overall job growth in the state.
In the next year, Minnesota’s clean energy employers project they will add more than 4,200 jobs -- that’s a growth rate of 7.3 percent. Along with the ingenuity of our business sector, smart and predictable state and federal policies are critical for Minnesota to maximize the economic opportunity presented by the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy.
There is a lot changing in Minnesota’s clean energy sector. You'll find ‘need to know’ information on this page and for comprehensive analysis of Minnesota’s clean energy jobs we invite you to visit www.cleanjobsmidwest.com. To see where clean energy jobs are located please view this interactive map.
What do people working in clean energy do?
People working in clean energy have jobs in several industries. They may work in energy efficiency, manufacturing energy efficient windows and doors, or in construction working to retrofit buildings and save people money with efficient lighting or HVAC systems.
Clean energy jobs also include workers who are employed in industries that generate power from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal, and low-impact hydro technologies.
Minnesotans who build and develop hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, as well as those who develop clean fuels like biodiesel and non-corn ethanol from grasses or agricultural waste are also part of the clean energy sector. An emerging clean energy sector in Minnesota is advanced grid, which employs people working to modernize how energy is stored and distributed to consumers.
To learn more about the 61,000+ Minnesotans employed in clean energy visit our Names Behind the Numbers | Minnesota series.
How many people work in each clean energy sector?
Energy efficiency jobs continue to be the largest sector of clean energy employment in Minnesota with 3 out of every 4 clean energy jobs in state.
Minnesota’s second largest sector of clean energy jobs is renewable energy, which employs more than 8,000 workers.
Which sectors of clean energy are growing?
Clean energy is a major employer in Minnesota. The sectors of the industry that saw the most growth since 2017 are: energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced transportation, and advanced grid. Jobs in renewable energy have grown the fastest with the largest job growth coming from the solar industry.
- Energy efficiency jobs grew faster in Minnesota than the rest of the Midwest at a growth rate of 3 percent adding more than 1,300 jobs.
- Renewable energy added 857 jobs for a robust 11.8 percent annual growth rate outpacing the rest of the Midwest which averaged 2.7 percent growth.
- Advanced transportation is Minnesota's third-largest clean energy sector with over 3,000 jobs. In the last year, the most growth in the electric vehicle sub-sector.
- Advanced grid jobs grew by 2.3 percent and are largely made up of jobs focused on energy storage.
What else is there to know about clean energy jobs?
Clean energy jobs can also be categorized by the role they play in the value chain. Each value chain category captures jobs from multiple clean energy sectors. For example, construction jobs can include energy efficiency jobs and renewable energy jobs.
Following North Dakota, Minnesota has the largest percentage of clean energy jobs in construction within the Midwest region.
Where are clean energy jobs located?
Jobs in clean energy are located in communities across the state. In fact, 38.8 percent of clean energy jobs are located in Greater Minnesota. Additionally, entrepreneurs and small businesses drive the sector—72.3 percent of Minnesota’s clean energy businesses employ fewer than 20 individuals.
The metro areas with the largest number of clean energy jobs are Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Duluth. Take a look at this interactive map to see where clean energy jobs are located by county, district, and metro area.
Who works in clean energy?
In Minnesota, racial and ethnic minorities make up 34.7 percent of clean energy employees, and women are 27.2 percent of the clean jobs workforce.
Currently, 11.7 percent of clean energy jobs are filled by veterans. By comparison, 6 percent of all workers nationwide are veterans. The large ratio of veterans transitioning to clean energy jobs is the result of the U.S. Department of Defense's long-standing commitment to investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and training programs that prepare veterans for private-sector employment in industries like solar.
What policies can support clean energy development?
At the state level, companies have cited Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES), and Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) as policies that provide market certainty for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency investments and projects.
State and national building energy codes, which establish the minimum energy efficiency required for building materials (insulation, windows and air sealing), mechanical equipment (HVAC), and lighting for commercial and residential buildings, also promote investment and clean energy job creation.
At the federal level, the potential expiration of the 179D Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction, the U.S. EPA’s attempt to roll back fuel economy standards in the auto industry, and supply chain impacts from global trade wars have led to general market uncertainty for some clean energy businesses in the Midwest.
Another important way that policy supports clean energy development is by establishing a variety of different financing mechanisms, including Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and on-bill financing among many other potential rebate and grant possibilities.