In news that should surprise no one, Pew Charitable Trusts released a report yesterday showing that the burgeoning clean energy economy is generating significant job growth. In this case, a clean energy economy is defined as one that "generates jobs, businesses and investments while expanding clean energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, and conserving water and other natural resources." Pew highlights eight companies—Project FROG, Gamesa, Honeywell, Austin Energy, Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, Johnson Controls, RecycleBank, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.
According to the Pew report, the number of jobs in America's clean energy sector grew two and a half times faster (a national rate of 9.1%) than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007. By 2007, businesses generated 770,000 clean energy-related jobs. These jobs included engineers, plumbers, administrative assistants, construction workers, teachers, and more. In comparison, the well-entrenched fossil fuel sector—including utilities, coal, mining, and oil extraction—comprised 1.27 million workers in total during 2007.
Now that private companies and the U.S. government have dramatically increased clean energy funding, the sector is expected to grow even more. Technologies worth keeping an eye on, according to Pew's survey of patents, are batteries, fuel cells, and solar energy.