2018 Renewable Energy Job Forecast
Posted on 18
Where are the jobs in the energy industry? According to the Department of Energy’s January 2017 Energy and Employment report, coal and nuclear energy made up only 160,119 and 76,771 jobs respectively in the industry; while the renewable energy sector (including solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, and low-impact hydropower) employed 621,285 Americans in total last year.
The solar industry alone—which is quickly becoming one of the cheapest forms of energy around the world—employed 373,807 Americans last year and is adding workers at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the overall economy. Will the surge in renewable energy employment continue in 2018?
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Renewable Energy Outlook
Renewable energy has accounted for a majority of innovations in electric power in the U.S. since 2015 and that proportion is expected to grow. Not only do mounting concerns over fossil fuel usage and CO2 emissions play a significant role in this transition to renewable energy, but the race for leadership in renewable energy is getting larger and more competitive by the minute as more companies commit to 100% renewables in the future.
According to Erik Lensing, business development manager with ComAp, solar and wind energy is expected to replace aging infrastructure and increase grid stability and energy independence, especially as these renewable energy sources become cheaper and more efficient.
Renewable Energy Storage Jobs
Advances in renewable energy and battery storage are making the grid ever-more capable of accommodating wind and solar energy, even when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. In fact, the electric storage industry is growing at a rate of more than 200 percent a year, making the grid even more efficient and providing a whole toolbox of solutions to deal with intermittency.
Does this mean renewable energy storage could be the next big job creator? The short answer is yes. 100% reliance on renewable energy relies on adequate energy storage solutions. This is great news for the job market as energy storage has a long supply chain in which every link has its own unique job opportunities.
Jump-start your professional training and credits in renewable energy by checking out our Deploying Solar + Storage Microgrids on-demand webinar exploring solar microgrids with interactive battery bank installations.