More than 10,800 jobs were announced in the clean energy sector and related industries in the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).
The top 10 green job states in the third quarter of 2012 were (from No. 1 to No. 10): California, New York, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois and Nevada.
Although significant, the job growth was dramatically less than in the previous two quarters despite an improving economy.
The latest "What Clean Energy Jobs? These Clean Energy Jobs!" report suggests that what was once strong job growth in the clean energy sector is being reined in by uncertainty over politics and policies such as the production tax credit (PTC) for the wind industry that is about to expire.
E2 tracked announcements that involved more than 37,000 clean energy sector jobs in the second quarter. During the first quarter, there were 46,000 clean energy jobs announced — more than four times as many as in the third quarter.
“These numbers show that policy matters,” said Judith Albert, executive director of Environmental Entrepreneurs. "With clean energy job announcements’ slowing down, it becomes even more important that Congress and the administration take the right steps to ensure that we don't lose any more momentum in the clean energy sector that’s helping both our economy and our environment.”
The third-quarter report is the latest since E2 began tracking clean energy job announcements in September 2011. E2 is a nationwide network of business leaders who advocate for good environmental policy while building economic prosperity. It is an affiliate of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The report comes as Congress is returning to Washington and has the opportunity to extend the PTC that has created tens of thousands of jobs in the wind energy industry. The Dec. 31 expiration of the PTC has resulted in massive layoffs and project curtailments in the wind industry.
According to the E2 report:
· Power generation companies announced the most clean energy jobs in the July-September quarter. Solar, wind and biogas companies announced 40 projects that together would create more than 6,000 jobs.
· Manufacturing companies that make everything from electric vehicles to solar panels announced 14 projects in the quarter that would create more than 1,600 jobs. Most projects, however, were being completed or nearing completion.
· In the wind industry, manufacturing job announcements fell to zero in the third quarter compared with eight announcements in Q1 and two in Q2.
· Clean energy job announcements have no political or regional boundaries. Forty-eight percent of the announcements were in Republican congressional districts, 46 percent were in Democratic districts, and 6 percent spanned more than one congressional district.
· Three states saw significant jumps in announcements for clean energy and related jobs between the second and third quarters: North Carolina (from No. 26 to No. 7), Washington (from No. 27 to No. 4), and Texas (from No. 15 to No. 6).
The E2 report is compiled from formal job announcements and media reports. They include projects and programs in various stages of development mainly in the manufacturing, energy, biofuels and public transportation industries.