Report: Midwest clean energy jobs continue to grow

By Erin Voegele | March 28, 2016

A report recently released by Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) has determined nearly 569,000 people currently work in clean energy throughout the Midwest, with that number expected to grow by more than 4 percent over the next year. With the right policies in place, such as state renewable portfolio standards and energy efficiency standards, the rate of growth could be even higher.

According to the report, the clean energy economy is growing in every Midwestern state studied, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The clean fuels industry was found to account for approximately 1.25 percent, or 7,098 jobs, with advanced transportation at 11.32 percent, or 64,394 jobs. The advanced grid accounted for 0.71 percent, or 4,067 jobs. Renewable energy accounted for a higher share, with 12.28 percent, or 69,873 jobs. Energy efficiency accounted for 74.77 percent, or 423,548 jobs.

Of the renewable energy jobs, bioenergy accounted for 10.47 percent, or 7,318 jobs. Of the clean fuels jobs, woody biomass accounted for 4.89 percent, or 347 jobs, while non-woody clean fuels accounted for 95.11 percent or 6,751 jobs.

According to the analysis, small businesses drive the Midwestern clean economy. More than three-quarters of clean energy workers are employed by firms with less than 50 employees.

The report includes an interactive map that allows users to view clean energy jobs by county, state legislative district, congressional district, or metropolitan statistical area. It also includes several worker profiles, and allows users to compare state-level statistics.

“In a short amount of time, clean energy has become a huge part of the Midwest’s workforce and economy,” said Bob Keefe, E2’s executive director. “Smart policies helped jump-start this industry, and smart policies will keep these made-in-America jobs growing—and help our environment along the way.”

The analysis is passed on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics along with a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region conducted by BW Research Partners.

The analysis is available at