By David E. Hess | PaEN | March 13, 2023
(Originally published on the PA Environment Digest Blog)
Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy is growing rapidly across the Commonwealth–revitalizing its job market and boosting it into a position of national leadership, according to a comprehensive analysis of employment data released by the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA), Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, Sustainable Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania Solar Center.
Growing by over 30 percent— to 92,773 jobs since the height of the COVID-19 economic crisis in 2020–clean energy jobs in Pennsylvania have proved their resilience. This compares favorably to the 35,686 jobs in the fossil fuel industry, 4,049 jobs in the nuclear industry and 70,373 jobs in industries related to gasoline-powered vehicles in Pennsylvania.
JOB COMPARISON BY RANK:
With one of the fastest growing clean energy sectors in the nation, Pennsylvania became one of the top ten of states with the most clean energy jobs in 2021 and is poised to have national influence on economic growth and combating climate change.
As Pennsylvania’s clean energy transition continues to ramp up, employment data shows that the commonwealth’s clean energy economy is lifting up small businesses and reflects the diversity of the Commonwealth.
Over 66 percent of clean energy jobs are created by small businesses across Pennsylvania, and people of color make up over 26 percent of the clean energy workforce despite representing 20 percent of the population.
Furthermore, over 60% of clean energy jobs are outside of Pennsylvania’s major cities, clearly demonstrating how the clean economy can bring benefit to workers across the Commonwealth.
Increased investment in the clean energy sector can support the continued trajectory of this job market lifting up Pennsylvania’s communities.
“This report shows the market has spoken. Pennsylvania’s clean energy economy is growing rapidly across sectors. To increase momentum and benefits for Pennsylvania’s residents and economy we need the right workforce. The clean energy economy offers something for everyone, from entry-level, to skilled trades, to positions that require advanced degrees. Developing our workforce to meet these needs will help Pennsylvania realize its full potential.”Jeaneen Zappa, Executive Director of the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance
“These numbers highlight the momentum behind the transition, and its potential to uplift communities across the Commonwealth. The Shapiro administration has a once in a generation opportunity to seize the moment and implement policy that betters the lives of families today, and in the future. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to realize these opportunities and move Pennsylvania into a sustainable, more prosperous future.”Uchenna Bright, E2 Northeast Advocate