March 13, 2014
Where art thou clean energy? Clean energy has taken a back seat to the expanding discourse and production of natural gas. The politic s to balance the energy solutions to create redundancies has been lost to lobby of natural gas-frack solution. The effect of the slow down is from unfolding boom to calm sound. The impact of clean was “Clean Energy Job Growth In US Starts To Slip” as the industry reshuffles.
Clean energy investments had it rough in 2013, and US job growth in that sector is having a bit of trouble too. That’s at least according to evidence in a new report out today from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2),an environmental advocacy organization for businesses. While the clean energy industry made plans to add an additional 78,000 new jobs at 260 projects in 2013, that’s a 30% dip from the 110,000 job announcements in the previous year. (E2 has only been tracking clean energy job growth for the past two years.)
“The solar industry was the biggest contributor in 2013 with more than 21,600 jobs announced, and California unsurprisingly was the leading state with 15,400 new clean tech jobs. Texas came in second with around a dozen wind energy projects planning to create more than 6,300 new jobs. Projects dedicated to improving building efficiency brought in 12,500 jobs and public transportation brought in another 11,400,” reports Forbes.
The biggest reason for the 30% drop in job growth over last year is due to ongoing regulatory uncertainty around federal tax credits and state renewable energy mandates, says E2 communications director Bob Keefe. Congress let the generous tax credits the wind energy industry had enjoyed for more than two decades expire in December–and it looks unlikely they’ll be reinstated in 2014. And four major energy efficiency tax credits and initiatives expired at the end of last year too. On top of that, several states, including North Carolina and Kansas, have attempted to roll back mandates on renewable energy requirements for their utility grids.
The chatter was to promote the potential jobs that clean energy could produce. The analysis revealed the economic projections and investment in solar did not pan out and provide brand recognition was the domino that hurt the boom investment in clean. As the oil and gas fired up their focus in natural gas and within short period of time produced a surplus the shift from clean to gas was like a whirlwind.
The Federal Government released and failed to renew tax credits that propped the bustling clean energy drive. The role of subsidies, marketing and the ever present voice of clean was the calling card for energy change. The big picture secured wind subsidies but the drop in overall support faded. The overall effects produced a loss of jobs in clean. Clean has not lost its glimmer but does need a shine to support the value and benefits of redundancies and energy security.