Employment in clean energy experienced a dramatic boost this year, with hiring in the sector doubling from 2014's first quarter to the second, according to a new report from the nonprofit group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The organization found that employers in clean energy and transportation announced 12,500 positions in the second quarter of this year.
E2 discovered 54 announcements of new work in the sector for 2014's second quarter. Jobs in clean energy and transportation were announced in 29 states. Arizona was the leader in expected clean energy jobs. The report noted 350 positions announced at Solar Wind Energy, Inc., in San Luis, Arizona.
Across the country, however, solar power was predicted to account for the most jobs. While 2,700 positions were made available at companies supplying wind power, solar energy employment opportunites increased by 5,300, the report found. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter for which solar power generation led new job creation in clean energy. The top states for solar energy production were also among those with laws enabling residents to sell power they generated from solar arrays back to utilities companies.
California is one state expected to benefit most from the boom in solar power generation. Coming second on E2's list of the fastest-growing states for clean energy, California benefited from utility-scale solar installations. The construction of the Imperial Solar Energy Center West Project in Imperial County led to another 800 open jobs in the state.
New York also saw an influx of jobs in solar power generation. According to the report, SolarCity recently purchased Silevo, a manufacturer of solar equipment, and expects to build a facility generating 1 gigawatt per year in Buffalo add more than 1,000 positions as a result.
In the clean transportation sector, Tesla Motors and General Motors created the most new electric car-related jobs. Tesla Motors said that it would have 500 new positions in California, while Michigan, the state with the third-largest growth predicted in the sectors, could gain as many as 1,400 jobs from GM making batteries for its electric cars.
Data compiled in 2013 from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute showed that clean energy employment has been expanding for some time. In November 2012, an estimated 119,016 people worked in the solar power sector, a 13.2 percent increase from one year earlier. During that same period, total employment in the nation reportedly grew just 2.3 percent.