Colorado’s Clean Energy Potential Reaches New Heights

Colorado is leading the Mountain West’s clean energy economy.

With nearly 60,000 clean energy workers now, the state’s potential reached new heights in 2018 with strong employment growth across cleantech sectors (4.8%)—far outpacing overall national (1.5%) and statewide (2.4%) job growth.

According to Clean Jobs Colorado 2019 (downloadable PDF) report, Colorado’s is now among the top 10 states for jobs in three sectors: wind energy (3rd), bioenergy (9th), and overall renewable energy (6th). The state fell just outside the Top 10 in solar energy (11th). However, the majority of Colorado’s clean energy job growth came from energy efficiency and clean vehicles, which grew 7.2% and 22.5%respectively.

Analyzing the state geographically,the employment analysis found that while Denver and Boulder accounted for nearly one out of every three clean jobs in the state, about 20 percent (29,000) are in areas outside the Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins metro areas. Additionally, all 64 counties in the state are home to clean energy workers, with 11 counties supporting at least 1,100. Denver led all counties with more than 13,200 jobs, followed by Arapahoe (7,600) and Jefferson (5,800) counties. By density, Jackson, Denver, and Boulder counties led the state in clean jobs per 1,000 employable residents. All 64 counties in Colorado are home to clean energy workers, with 11 counties supporting over 1,000 jobs.

Smart policies such as the Zero-Emission Vehicle standards adopted by Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission in August and Gov. Polis’ roadmap to 100% renewable energy will help ensure that Colorado’s clean energy economy keeps growing. And businesses have noticed, with Colorado clean energy employers predicting they’ll add jobs more than twice as fast in 2019 (10.3%) as 2018.

Colorado Job Sector Toplines

  • Energy Efficiency – 34,342 jobs
  • Renewable Energy – 17,073 jobs
  • Solar Energy – 7,775 jobs
  • Wind Energy – 7,318 jobs
  • Clean Vehicles – 3,323 jobs
  • Biofuels – 2,045 jobs
  • Energy Storage – 1,692 jobs
  • Grid Modernization – 1,272 jobs
  • ALL Clean Energy Sectors – 59,666 jobs

Other Highlights from 2018

  • Clean energy jobs also now employ 26,000 more workers than the state’s entire fossil fuel industry (10,022)
  • 8,100 workers Coloradans located in rural areas work in clean energy
  • 64% of clean energy workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 20 total employees
  • Colorado clean energy employers are projecting 10.3% employment growth for 2019.
  • Construction (37.6%) and professional services (40.7%) make up the majority of clean energy jobs.
  • 9.6% of Coloradans employed in clean energy are veterans
  • Denver led all counties in Colorado with 13,200 jobs, followed by Arapahoe (7,600) and Jefferson (5,868) counties

Looking for More Info?

This report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.3 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on data from the U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership. E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016. Clean energy jobs have grown every year since the first report was released in 2016.

If you are looking for additional insight into E2’s Clean Jobs Colorado 2019 or our other Clean Jobs America reports, visit e2.org/reports. You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake (mtimberlake@e2.org). An FAQ is also available here to answer any questions.

DOWNLOAD

The complete report is available for download at this link.

OTHER CLEAN JOBS REPORTS

Clean Jobs North Carolina is only one in a series of state and industry reports produced by E2 and our partners.