Increased consumer adoption of electric vehicle technology is boosting clean car job growth. (@doondevil/Twenty20.com)
Increased consumer adoption of electric vehicle technology is boosting clean car job growth. (@doondevil/Twenty20.com)
By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman

Ohio News Connection

COLUMBUS – The Buckeye State still ranks near the top for clean job creation.

According to a new report from the nonpartisan business group E2, nearly 113,000 people are employed in Ohio's clean energy sector.

That's a 4.6 percent increase in the past year, which E2 Executive Director Robert Keefe points out is higher than the national growth rate of 3.6 percent.

Keefe says there are now nearly 3.4 million clean energy jobs in the U.S.

"That's a huge number," he stresses. "That's more than there are people who work in real estate in this country, believe it or not. It's more than there are teachers in America. It's more than there are waiters and wait staff.

"These are people who put up solar panels and wind turbines, but it's also people who make our homes and offices more energy efficient."

Across the country, clean jobs outnumber those in fossil fuels about three to one, and employers expect 6 percent job growth for 2019.

Ohio ranks eighth among states for the number of people employed in the clean energy sector.

Keefe says the biggest story is the 16 percent growth in clean vehicle manufacturing. He explains it was spurred by growing consumer adoption of electric vehicle technology, state expansion of charging infrastructure, and falling battery prices.

And in Ohio, it accounts for the most clean energy jobs.

"Clean car employment grew by about 9 percent in the state of Ohio last year," he points out. "That's about 1,300 new jobs. Energy efficiency jobs were up about 3 percent. Solar and wind were pretty stable. Grid modernization and battery storage also increased slightly in Ohio."

To continue clean energy employment growth, the report has several recommendations, including federal policies that support grid modernization and expanded EV charging infrastructure. It also calls for the end of rollbacks to fuel economy standards for vehicles and extending and upgrading expired energy efficiency tax credits for commercial and residential buildings.