New Report: Nearly 600,000 Clean Energy Jobs in Midwest

CHICAGO—The number of people now working in clean energy industries throughout the Midwest is 599,775, a 5-percent increase since 2015, according to an analysis released today by Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Job growth across sectors including renewable energy generation, advanced grid, energy efficiency, clean fuels and advanced transportation is occurring almost five times faster than overall job growth in the region.

The analysis—available at—is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region conducted by BW Research Partners. The Clean Jobs Midwest report provides detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs—including job totals for every county, congressional district, and state legislative district in the 12-state Midwestern region: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The Midwest's clean energy workforce is more than two times as large as all the computer programmers in the region, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The Midwest has witnessed declining manufacturing employment over the years and this report highlights the important role of clean energy jobs in filling the gap for the region's workforce,” said Erik G. Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. “We're optimistic that this growth engine can continue unabated as the Midwest continues to prove it is a fertile region for clean energy innovation, enabling businesses to launch, grow and create jobs.”

“States are leading the clean energy revolution in America,” said Bob Keefe, E2's Executive Director. “The Midwest has quickly become a clean energy job hub, with every state seeing job growth. This is the result of pioneering businesses aided in part by smart state and federal policies. We need more policymakers to incent clean energy development to ensure America doesn't fall behind global competitors.”

“The solar energy sector is an important and growing part of the Midwest's economy, and like many other industries benefits from regulatory certainty and is harmed by uncertainty,” said Steve Peplin, CEO of Cleveland-based Talan Products. “Good, stable policies can provide more good jobs in Ohio and affordable solar energy for consumers.”

“Intellihot is proud to be part of the growing clean energy sector in the Midwest,” said Rod Harrison, CEO of Intellihot. “Our company employs dozens of people in Galesburg, Illinois, working to design and build our high efficiency tankless commercial water heaters.”

Energy efficiency continues to be the largest energy employer in the Midwest, accounting for 442,319 jobs, including hardware and software implementers, people working on high efficiency heating and cooling systems, and system technicians.

The biggest job growth occurred in the renewable energy sector. Jobs in wind, solar, geothermal, bioenergy, and low-impact hydroelectric power grew by more than 15-percent in the past year.

The report also found:

  • 1 in 10 clean energy workers are employed in the advanced transportation industry. This includes hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, alternative fuels vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles.
  • In the Midwest, 44% of all clean energy jobs were in construction—264,155 jobs. Manufacturing accounted for 164,164 more jobs—over 27% of all clean energy jobs.
  • The clean fuels and advanced grid sectors employ 7,077 and 4,184 Midwestern workers respectively.
  • 2016 Department of Energy data shows that there are more than 3 million clean energy workers across the country. For a fact sheet outlining more specifics about the national clean energy jobs landscape, view E2's fact sheet.

The report includes an interactive map and profiles of Midwestern clean energy workers.



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