Vermont continues to lead the nation when it comes to clean energy jobs, according to the 2016 Clean Energy Industry Report announced May 18 by Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Department of Public Service. In the past year, there has been an increase of over 1,400 clean energy jobs, bringing the total number of Vermonters employed in this industry to 17,715. With one in every 17 workers—or about 6 percent of the State’s workforce—now part of the clean energy economy, Vermont has the highest number of per capita clean energy jobs of any U.S. state.
This is the third year the Department of Public Service has conducted a study of Vermont’s clean energy workforce, and the trend is clear: clean energy jobs are a growing and significant part of Vermont’s economy.
The clean energy cluster was defined to include many different types of clean energy goods and services including energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean transportation, and support services.
At a time when employers are adding jobs at a fast pace—employers have added nearly 17,000 jobs since January 2011—the clean energy economy is growing at an even faster pace. Since 2013, the clean energy industry in Vermont has grown by nearly 20 percent. In 2014, 4.3 percent of Vermonters were employed in the clean energy industry. That rose to 4.8 percent in 2015 and is now at 6 percent.
Other key findings include:
- The wood energy industry is a critical component of the state’s clean economy. Wood energy establishments include forestry and logging firms, processors and distributors of chips, pellets, and firewood, as well as manufacturers and installers of wood stoves, boilers, and furnaces. Together, these establishments employ 1,542 full-time-equivalent workers across Vermont.
- Energy efficiency is the largest segment of Vermont’s clean energy sector, employing nearly half of the sector’s workforce. While energy efficiency is the largest segment, renewable energy shows the fastest growth. The number of renewable energy workers expanded the most, growing by more than a third since the 2015 industry report (36 percent), with renewable energy firms adding another 1,800 new workers to their payrolls bringing the total for 2016 to 6,965.
“This report clearly shows that our clean energy jobs strategy is working,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “I am so proud of the many thousands of Vermonters working in these thriving industries, including a number of younger Vermonters who have returned home to work in this sector. From here forward it is also clear that no one can say with a straight face that they support growing jobs in Vermont while at the same time supporting moratoriums or bans on clean energy technologies.”