Clean Energy Jobs Dwarf Dirty Ones

Workers at Westmont Solar Project

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that renewable energy firms are creating more jobs than their fossil fuel counterparts. In fact, solar and wind energy companies generated more jobs than oil, coal, and natural gas combined… even though renewables provide a fraction of the power of their fossil predecessors. Solar energy, for example, provides only 1.3% of the nation’s power, but creates twice as many jobs as coal that provides 30% of the nation’s power.

The entire supply chain of solar and wind industries including those that manufacture, install, and run turbines and panels employs 476,000 workers, while fossil fuel companies employ 187,117 people.

The solar industry is adding jobs at a rate 17 times faster than the overall U.S. economy. One in 50 new jobs in the U.S. was in the solar industry. According to Vote Solar, and drawing from The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census, 260,000 people are working in the solar industry, another year of double-digit growth. American solar industry created one new job every 10 minutes. California is the nation’s leader with over 100,000 workers. California solar jobs grew by 32% in 2016.

Combined newly installed capacity from renewable resources biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar, and wind totaled 16,124 MW in 2016, surpassing that of natural gas (8,689 MW), nuclear (1,250 MW), oil (58 MW), and coal (45 MW). For the second year in a row, the majority of the nation’s new capacity is renewable.