According to a report released by the Brookings Institution, the green technology and renewable energy industries, a.k.a. the “clean economy,” are currently employing more workers than their fossil fuel counterparts. The Brookings Institution, which is the first nonprofit public policy organization to define green jobs, studied the number of green jobs created in the U.S. by sectors such as solar, wind, waste water recycling, public transportation and energy efficiency retrofits.
At approximately 2.7 million green jobs, the clean economy also employs more workers than the biosciences industry while not as many jobs created by the information technology industry. Also interesting is the clean economy has more manufacturing jobs than the rest of the U.S. manufacturing workforce, with 26 percent of clean energy green jobs having to do with manufacturing, compared to 9 percent for the rest of the U.S. job market. Clean energy manufacturing include green jobs like producing electric cars, bio chemicals, and LED lighting.
Clean economy jobs in renewable energy offer higher wages
Clean economy green jobs or “green collar jobs” are also offering significant opportunities and relatively high wages for low skilled workers such as installing solar panels, working in factories producing green technology products, and doing home retrofits for example. Additionally, green jobs in solar, and the smart grid grew at a faster pace than the rest of the economy.
To add an additional boost to the U.S. renewable energy renaissance, the Brookings Institution report proposes that Congress could pass a national clean energy standard, put a price on carbon, use the government as a chief customer of renewable energy products, discover ways to help proven green technology pass the so-called Valley of Death, and increase funding for basic science and early-stage high risk projects.
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