RENEW Wisconsin
Press Release

REPORT: Over 75,000 Wisconsin Residents Work in Clean Energy

Top Counties: Milwaukee, Dane, Waukesha

By - Aug 8th, 2018 10:02 am
Solar training. Photo courtesy of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Solar training. Photo courtesy of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Madison, WI – (August 8, 2018) – More than 75,000 Wisconsin residents now work in clean energy industries, including individuals in all 72 counties, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs). Wisconsin’s clean energy workforce employs more than all the waiters and waitresses, computer programmers, lawyers and web developers in Wisconsin combined, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.

Energy efficiency once again led all clean energy sectors in Wisconsin, employing 62,299 workers – accounting for 8 in ten of all clean energy workers. Renewable energy generation came in second with over 5,600 jobs – led by solar and wind (5,351).

“The beauty of data is that it cuts through political rhetoric. These findings show that clean energy jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency are growing across the region and that the Midwest continues to demonstrate it is a fertile region for clean energy innovation, enabling businesses to launch, grow, and create jobs,” said Erik G. Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. “Everyone should embrace and support these sectors that are driving economic development.”

Released today, Clean Jobs Midwest highlights Wisconsin’s growing importance in America’s transition to grid modernization and energy storage  –  adding 191 new jobs from 2016-17 (8.2% job growth).  Wisconsin has the the region’s 4th-highest number of energy efficiency jobs.  Overall, Wisconsin now employs 8 times more workers in clean energy than fossil fuels.

Contributing the most clean energy jobs were Milwaukee (10,776), Dane (9,970), and Waukesha (9,000) counties. Milwaukee and Madison metro areas combined are home to 28,850  jobs while over 20,200  jobs came from Wisconsin’s rural areas.

“Clean jobs count in Wisconsin,” said Micaela Preskill, E2’s Midwest Advocate. “With further investment and smart state policy, clean jobs could power Wisconsin’s economy into the next decade.”

Detailed and interactive breakdowns of Wisconsin’s clean energy economy are available at CleanJobsMidwest.com  – including job totals for every Wisconsin county, congressional district, and state legislative district.

Other key findings:

  • Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, employs 5,660 Wisconsin residents
  • Over 2,500 Wisconsin residents now work in grid modernization and energy storage
  • The majority of Wisconsin’s clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing (75.30%)
  • Clean fuels and clean vehicle technologies employ 4,565 workers
  • Employers project 2.0% clean energy job growth in 2018
  • Small businesses are driving Wisconsin’s clean energy sectors, with 67.90% of clean energy businesses employing fewer than 20 individuals.
  • 11% of Wisconsin residents employed in clean energy are veterans

“Wind, solar, and energy efficiency are the lowest-cost options for utility companies and our state’s homes, businesses, and public-serving organizations.  Wisconsin has a tremendous job creation opportunity because these clean energy  technologies are now cost-effective and ready for prime-time,” said Tyler Huebner, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin.

Across the entire 12-state region, Clean Jobs Midwest found that clean energy employment totaled 714,255 at the end of last year – led by Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio each with more than 100,000 jobs and four other states accounting for over 50,000 jobs.

The report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.2 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) released in May by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). CET and E2 were partners on the USEER.

To speak with business leaders in the Midwest who support strong investments in clean energy and their impact on America’s economy, please contact Michael Timberlake at (202) 289-2407.

More information about E2’s clean energy jobs research can be found at www.e2.org/reports.

Additional Resources:

Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see www.e2.org or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

Clean Energy Trust is a nonprofit that supports early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs with direct investment, venture growth services, and ecosystem development. Learn more at www.cleanenergytrust.org or follow us on Twitter at @cleanenergytrst.

RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to renewable energy in Wisconsin. We advance and defend policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org

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