Survey: Calif. advanced energy economy approaching half a million jobs

Dive Brief:

  • California now has 431,800 jobs in its advanced energy economy, with 73,000 in solar, according to a survey from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. California's is the biggest U.S. advanced energy industry and provides more jobs to the state than its film, television and radio sectors.
  • Advanced energy jobs in California grew 5% over 2013 this year and are expected to grow 17% in 2015. Every state studied by the Institute found the energy-efficient building sector provides the most advanced energy jobs. California energy efficiency provides 303,117 jobs, 70% of the total.
  • Advanced electricity generation, the next biggest segment, contributes 95,000 jobs, 22% of the total. Jobs where workers spent over half their time in solar grew 16% from 2013 to 2014. Jobs in California’s electric vehicle and energy storage sectors are also growing quickly.

Dive Insight:

California has an estimated 40,000 businesses in its advanced energy economy. They are expected to soon provide a half million jobs. The businesses and jobs span the advanced energy value chain. Deployment of goods and services is the bulk of the activity but there is also much activity in R&D, manufacturing, and professional services

A big part of California’s U.S.-leading growth is attributable to effective policies like early vehicle emissions standards, the California Solar Initiative, a nation-leading 33% renewables by 2020 mandate, and a building code that requires high levels of energy efficiency.

As result of such policies, California is #1 in installed solar capacity, #1 in solar jobs, #1 in total advanced energy investment, #1 in electric vehicle sales, and #2 in energy efficiency.

Only 3% of California’s advanced energy businesses have their customer base outside the U.S. and the customer base of over three-quarters (77%) of those businesses is within the state.

Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Regulation & Policy Corporate News
Top image credit: Fotolia