Top 10 states for renewable energy jobs
Solar energy generation was the year’s top sector with more than 21,600 jobs announced. Other strong sectors included building efficiency and public transportation.
Job announcements were made in 46 states, with California’s roughly 15,400 jobs topping the list. Rounding out the Top 10 states for the year were: California, Texas, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, New York, Missouri. The Top 10 states for the fourth quarter were: Texas, Arizona, New York, California, Iowa, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Georgia, North Dakota and New Mexico.
This is the second full year that nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) has tracked clean energy and clean transportation job announcements. Over the past two years combined, E2 has tracked more than 500 announcements that could create more than 186,500 jobs.
Last year’s job announcements were about 30 percent lower than in 2012. While this is in part due to our methodology, clean energy job growth also faced economic headwinds in 2013. These headwinds came from the continued low cost of natural gas, as well as attempts by renewable energy opponents to block or roll back favorable policies at the federal level and in numerous states.
In the fourth quarter alone, E2 tracked more than 70 projects nationwide that could create 13,000 jobs. Spikes in wind manufacturing and solar manufacturing added to the national quarterly total. Texas was the top state in the quarter, with as many at 3,200 jobs coming from eight projects, most of them in wind.
Here’s a closer look at some clean energy and clean transportation announcements in 2013:
* In California, the California Ethanol and Power Project will produce 66 million gallons of ethanol annually from sugar cane and sweet sorghum. Construction of a biofuels refinery and other facilities are expected to create 800 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs in Rep. Juan Vargas’ district east of San Diego.
* In Texas, Nest Labs, acquired by Google on Feb. 7, announced 140 technical support and customer service jobs. The company has a growing customer base for its energy-saving thermostat. The announcement came from Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s district near Austin.
* In Massachusetts, Next Step Living, based in Boston, announced it expects to add 100 jobs by Q2 2014. The company has experienced rapid growth in its energy efficiency business.
* In New Jersey, Trinity Solar LLC installed solar panels at housing units at Joint Military Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Burlington County, creating 120 jobs. Clean energy is an increasingly common presence on military bases nationwide.
Looking ahead, clean energy and clean transportation job growth could see an uptick in 2014 if Congress reinstates critical tax policies such as the wind industry production tax credit (PTC) and several energy efficiency tax incentives. Congress let these tax incentives expire at the end of 2013.
Clean energy jobs also could benefit from the rollout of the first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants, as well as from other elements of President Obama’s climate change initiative.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.