Rhode Island’s clean economy generated remarkable job growth over the last 12 months. Employment across the state’s clean energy firms increased by 40% over 2015, far exceeding last year’s projected growth of 17%. Clean energy jobs now support about 14,000 workers across the state. Clean energy companies predict a 6% increase in the clean economy workforce in the next 12 months.
Energy efficiency employment currently represents eight in ten clean energy workers; energy efficiency employment increased employment by 45%, adding just over 3,500 new jobs across the state. This sector is largely comprised of workers who work with both traditional and energy efficient products, as only a quarter of these employees spend all of their time on energy-efficiency related work. The dramatic recent job growth in this sector is the result of these technologies and activities becoming more ubiquitous and changing the way traditional building trades operate –more firms are offering energy efficient product lines as the technologies become an integral part of their business, even if it is not their primary business line.
Though currently only 14% of the clean workforce, renewable energy employment almost doubled over 2015. The workforce grew by 84% in just 12 months, creating 907 new jobs. While it remains a smaller portion of the clean economy, optimism regarding the state’s current offshore wind energy project as well as third-party ownership and financing of solar projects may signal that renewable generation is on pace to continue this growth in the short term.
"Rhode Island continues to expand its clean energy economy and create jobs in this growing sector," Raimondo said. "We've made extraordinary strides in promoting renewable energy - from expanding our solar industry to construction of the nation's first offshore wind farm. Rhode Island is leading the way, and I look forward to continuing to work with our partners to keep the momentum going."
"Governor Raimondo and the General Assembly's collective commitment to a sustainable energy future continues to produce statewide economic growth and employment opportunities," Rhode Island Energy Commissioner Marion Gold said. "It's a worthwhile investment, which will not only produce jobs but also shrink our carbon footprint and lead private industry into new, exciting territory. There are a lot of exciting clean energy initiatives happening throughout Rhode Island, and we must continue to engage public and private stakeholders to advance our environmental goals while reducing energy costs for local businesses and residents."
For further information about the Clean Energy Jobs Report, please contact:
Office of Energy Resources