(The Center Square) – The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Midwest clean energy job market hard, with more than 17,000 workers at one point filing for unemployment.
But the industry appears to be rebounding, according to an analysis of employment data released by the nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and Clean Energy Trust.
Clean energy companies employed 55,329 Minnesotans at the end of 2020, a 10.5% drop from 2019. This marks the first year-to-year decline since Clean Jobs Midwest began tracking Minnesota clean energy jobs in 2017.
But Minnesota’s clean energy sector grew by 10% in the second half of the year.
Minnesota’s largest clean energy employment sector is energy efficiency, accounting for nearly 75% of the state’s clean energy jobs. The advanced transportation sector saw a jobs increase of 2% for a total of 3,252 workers.
Hybrid vehicle manufacturing employees grew by 4.9% to 1,544 workers.
Electric-vehicle (EV) sector jobs grew by 7.4% to 787 workers. Wind energy jobs grew by 8% to 2,536 workers.
The clean energy jobs broken down by the report are:
- 41,148: energy efficiency.
- 7,616: renewable energy
- 3,252: Advanced transportation
- 2,681: grid and storage
- 632: clean fuels
The report comes as Congress and President Joe Biden’s administration considers legislation to spend billions in clean energy and clean vehicles.