The Midwest is a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy, a subject covered in last year’s Energy Foundation annual report.
A new report called Clean Jobs Illinois—which presents findings of the first comprehensive survey of Illinois’ clean energy industry—shines a light on the industry’s job-creation benefits.
The survey found that 96,875 people currently work in the clean energy sector of Illinois’ economy and the numbers are projected to grow by 9 percent in 2014. Clean energy jobs are defined as those pertaining to energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric or hybrid vehicles, and greenhouse gas management. The report includes stories about Illinois professionals working in areas including building efficiency, advanced battery manufacturing, wind energy, smart grid meters and biofuels.
BW Research Partnership, a national leader in workforce and economic development research, conducted the Clean Jobs Illinois survey. More findings:
- Energy Efficiency is the primary focus of 62 percent of Illinois clean energy businesses. Other sectors include renewable energy (28 percent), alternative transportation (6 percent), greenhouse gas management (1 percent) and “other” (12 percent).
- Firms working on hybrid and electric vehicles are the fastest growing sector of Illinois’ clean energy economy. While these businesses currently make up only 6 percent of Illinois clean energy companies, the sub-sector expects to grow by 10.5 percent in 2014.
- Illinois’ clean energy sector offers opportunity for qualified workers. The top job categories of clean energy jobs are engineering and research (21 percent), installation and maintenance (30 percent) and professional services (21 percent). Companies reported that they have difficulty hiring qualified engineers (software and mechanical), welders and installers.
- Businesses reported that Illinois’ public policies affect their ability to grow. Maintaining a strong Renewable Portfolio Standard was a top concern for Illinois clean energy firms.
A new interactive website showcases the survey results and will serve as an educational resource about clean energy jobs in Illinois: www.CleanJobsIllinois.com.
The survey was commissioned and developed by Clean Energy Trust in partnership with Environmental Entrepreneurs, The Environmental Law & Policy Center and The Natural Resources Defense Council. Advanced Energy Economy, the Joyce Foundation, and the Energy Foundation provided funding.