NYSERDA: New York renewable fuels jobs up 2.5% in 2018

By Erin Voegele | September 26, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced Sept. 24 the state’s clean energy economy employed nearly 159,000 workers last year. Employment in renewable fuels, which includes biofuels and wood pellets, was up 2.5 percent.

The data was released as part of the state’s 2019 Clean Energy Industry Report, which shows New York’s clean energy economy has experienced 8.9 percent employment growth since 2016, more than double the growth of the state’s overall economy. The report predicts overall clean energy employment will grow to 170,961 jobs this year, up from 158,744 jobs in 2018.

"Under Governor Cuomo, New York has staked out a clear global leadership position in advancing a plan to combat climate change and advance clean energy, and this report demonstrates that those efforts are already paying off,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA. The clean energy industry is adding high-quality jobs at more than twice the rate of the overall economy, and New York is quickly beginning to outpace the rest of the country in becoming a global hub for clean technology businesses.  By continuing to invest in New York’s clean energy businesses and workers, the Governor is providing exactly the kind of leadership we need today to build the thriving clean energy economy of tomorrow.”

The report addresses five major technology categories, including energy efficiency, renewable electric power generation, alternative transportation, renewable fuels, and grid modernization and storage.

The renewable fuels category, which includes biofuels such as wood pellets and ethanol, currently accounts for 2 percent of New York’s clean energy employment and 1 percent of the state’s clean energy firms. The category employed 2,654 workers in New York last year, compared to 2,590 in 2017 and 2,965 in 2016. On average, the report indicates renewable fuels employers expected to grow by 5.5 percent between 2018 and 2019.

The report also notes that the employment growth seen for the renewable fuels category between 2017 and 2018 occurred exclusively within the woody biomass subcategory, with jobs increasing from 1,658 in 2017 to 1,730 in 2018. Employment for non-woody biomass fuels fell slightly from 932 in 2017 to 924 in 2018.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the NSERDA website.