Clean Energy Economy Integral to Evergreen State

Clean energy is increasingly integral to Washington’s economic growth, as more than five out of every ten jobs in the Evergreen State’s energy economy are now in clean energy industries.  

Led by energy efficiency (63K) and renewable energy (11K), Washington’s clean energy economy—now ranked 14th among all 50 states with nearly 84,000 workers—is providing new job opportunities in every metro area, county, and legislative district.While Washington State ranks among the top 15 states for employment in most clean energy categories, its clean energy economy has ample room to grow. In fact, when compared to its west coast neighbors, Washington’s clean energy employment per capita lags behind Oregon and California.

However, by passing a suite of smart, ambitious policies in 2019, the state has made important strides to improve its competitiveness with California and the growing clean economies in the Midwest and Northeast. Paramount among the policy successes in 2019 was the passage of a hallmark 100 percent clean electricity bill (SB 5116).

But significant work remains if Washington State is to realize its full potential and become a true national front-runner in America’s burgeoning clean energy economy. To lead in a rapidly shifting energy market, Washington’s legislature should pass strong measures to cut carbon across all sectors of its economy in the coming legislative sessions, including authorizing a zero-emission vehicle program, a low carbon fuel standard, and an economy-wide cap-and-invest carbon pricing program.

A BIGGER PICTURE

This report focuses solely on the energy sector of the economy and does not include jobs in retail trade, repair services, water or waste management, and indirect employment or induced employment.

HOW WASHINGTON STACKS UP NATIONALLY

Washington ranks among the top 15 states for employment in 10 clean energy categories.

  • #11 Total Renewable energy
  • #13 Energy Efficiency
  • #6 Clean Storage
  • #11 Geothermal
  • #12 Bioenergy
  • #3 Small Hydropower
  • #10 Wind Energy
  • #2 Other Biofuels
  • #12 Total Transmission, Storage & Distribution
  • #14 Total Clean Energy

WASHINGTON CLEAN JOB SECTOR TOPLINES

  • Energy Efficiency – 63,877 jobs
  • Renewable Energy – 11,106 jobs
  • Solar Energy – 5,113 jobs
  • Clean Vehicles – 3,452 jobs
  • Wind Energy – 3,270 jobs
  • Energy Storage – 2,341 jobs
  • Clean Fuels – 1,813 jobs
  • Grid Modernization – 1,138 jobs
  • ALL Clean Energy Sectors – 83,728 jobs

HIGHLIGHTS

According to Clean Jobs Washington 2019:

  • Seven out of every ten (69.9%) clean energy workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 20 total employees.
  • Construction (64.3%) accounts for the majority of clean energy jobs.
  • If counted as a single metro area, Washington’s rural areas rank second in the state for clean energy jobs, behind only the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro.
  • 3,457 Washington residents now work in grid modernization (1,138) and energy storage (2,341)
  • 10.1% of Washington residents employed in clean energy are veterans, nearly double the national average (6%).
  • Of the top 10 counties by clean energy jobs per capita, five have populations under 100,000.
  • Washington’s clean vehicle job growth (21.4%) outpaced the sector’s national average (15.4%)
  • Clean energy employs 11X more Washington residents all fossil fuels combined (7,304).
  • 55% of Washington energy sector employees  (153,425) work in clean energy (83,728)
  • Less than 12,000 jobs separates Washington (#14) from the #10 state for clean energy employment (Virginia)
  • 45% of Washington’s clean energy jobs are based outside the Seattle metro area

DOWNLOAD

The complete report is available for download at this link.

Looking For More Info?

U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER)

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 California 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.

Other E2 Clean Jobs Reports

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