Clean Energy Employs 85,000 New Yorkers

OVER 85,000 New Yorkers work in the clean energy industry at 7,500 business establishments across all 62 of the State’s counties according to a new report.

“Tens of thousands of New Yorkers make clean energy a big and growing part of our state’s economy,” said Ron Kamen, CEO of Rhinebeck, N.Y.-based clean energy developer EarthKind Energy Inc. and a director of E2’s New York Chapter. “Clean energy now employs as many New Yorkers as some of the most prominent sectors in our economy. With the right policies, we can continue to create jobs in our state, while also helping our environment.”

The report: “Clean Jobs New York,” has been compiled by the business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, the New York State Sustainable Business Council and New Yorkers for Clean Power. The analysis is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information and new data from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a comprehensive survey of hundreds of businesses across the state.

Based on responses from employers surveyed by BW Research, clean energy jobs are projected to grow by more than 6 percent over this year – substantially greater than the overall state and national economic growth rate.

“New York is a regional and national clean energy jobs leader with plenty of room for growth,” said Philip Jordan, vice president and principal at BW Research Partnership. “In speaking with employers from all over the state, our researchers repeatedly heard that enthusiasm for adding more clean energy jobs is high.”

According to the Clean Jobs New York study, energy efficiency is by far the state’s largest clean energy employer, with more than 69,000 New Yorkers working in areas such as high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliance manufacturing and high-efficiency HVAC services to reduce wasted energy in homes, schools and businesses.

More than 12,400 New Yorkers work in renewable energy, the study found. The state’s top renewables sector was solar, with more than 10,600 jobs.

“We know New York’s clean energy industry is thriving, and today’s numbers are exciting to see,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “And when the state doubles the amount of electricity generated under the new 50 percent Clean Energy Standard, these economic benefits and jobs will grow even more. New job opportunities will come from renewable energy, like wind, solar, and fuel cells, and energy efficiency. We see a bright future for New York’s strengthening clean energy economy.”

The report shows that state energy efficiency and renewable standards, federal tax incentives and other policies have helped drive exponential growth in clean energy jobs in recent years.

To keep these jobs growing, lawmakers should continue to support the policies that are driving the clean energy sector, according to the groups behind the report. These policies range from the international climate agreement reached in Paris and the federal Clean Power Plan, to state and regional clean energy goals in New York like Gov. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative and the state’s plan to get 50 percent of its energy from renewables.

“To maintain the growth in clean energy jobs and economic opportunities, our state leaders must continue their leadership in revolutionizing New York's energy policy and limiting investments in fossil fuel infrastructure that would lock us in for decades to come,” said Laura Ornstein, director of the NYS Sustainable Business Council.

Solar panel install in Poughkeepsie by Lucas Braun reproduced under CCL.

Monday 23rd May 2016

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