Sustainable energy projects spur job growth

04.19.2012


Sustainable energy projects will help fuel job growth over the next few years, according to the results of a recent study.
Sustainable energy projects will help fuel job growth over the next few years, according to the results of a recent study.

The federal government has continued to support energy efficiency and sustainable energy initiatives over the past few years, helping fuel overall growth within the sector. According to a recent analysis, clean energy companies are continuing to invest in new projects at a rapid clip, which is driving overall job growth and increasing both engineering staffing and construction staffing levels.

The study, conducted by Environmental Entrepreneurs, found that green companies in the U.S. announced at least 137 projects in 42 states during the first three months of this year. In total, the projects have the potential to create as many as 46,000 new American jobs, according to the research organization.

The group's study determined that sustainable energy companies in the U.S. are continuing to eye future growth, even as they face mounting competition from companies relying on traditional energy sources such as oil. The nation's green economy has expanded at a rapid clip over the past decade, and experts contend its fast clip of expansion is likely to continue over the course of the next decade.

The Environmental Entrepreneurs' report, "What Clean Energy Jobs? These Clean Energy Jobs!" concluded that the continued adoption of alternative energy systems and an uptick in energy efficiency initiatives throughout the U.S. are helping support the nation's labor economy. Green companies have contributed to the nascent recovery in the nation's job market, and they are poised to continue doing so over the next few years.

The report has already prompted a wave of debate among public officials, as the federal government is mulling whether to end subsidies aimed at propping up green energy companies. Environmental Entrepreneurs executive director Judith Albert said the study's findings underscore how important the nation's green sector is to the overall economy.

"These numbers show us that our nation's investments in clean energy are paying off," she said in a statement. "With badly needed jobs announcements coming from almost every state in the first quarter, now is certainly not the time for Congress and state governments to derail this key part of our economic recovery."

The report also determined that power generation companies announced the most clean energy jobs in the first quarter of this year, with such firms vowing to add more than 18,000 workers. Manufacturing companies were not far behind, as they plan to hire more than 10,000 workers, including those with construction and engineering backgrounds, to help carry out a wave of new initiatives.