Thanks to a boom in solar power, green jobs are seeing healthy growth across the country, according to a report released Wednesday by a nonprofit business group.
California led the way with an estimated 9,000 jobs created between April and July 2013, as reported in a study produced by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). Hawaii was second in green job creation with 5,000 positions and Maryland was third with 4,400.
Across the nation, nearly 60 clean energy and clean transportation projects were announced or launched during the period, creating an estimated 38,600 jobs, officials said. Solar generation projects were the major source of the new jobs, accounting for a third of the new green jobs.
"With Labor Day upon us and the country focused on jobs and the economy, clean energy and clean transportation projects continue to create jobs and drive economic growth from one end of the country to the other," Judith Albert, E2 executive director, said in a press release.
The group estimates that green energy projects are responsible for creating 75,000 new jobs since the beginning of the year. E2 tracks company announcements, media reports and other sources to produce the data.
Among the highlights in the E2 report:
-- Solar generation projects accounted for 10,400 jobs in the second quarter. Solar jobs grew from California to North Carolina.
-- A new battery plant in Henderson, Nev., opened by the company K2 is expected to add 200 jobs.
-- A new 350-megawatt solar-photovoltaic generation plant in Nevada capable of powering 105,000 homes will create as many as 370 construction, operation and maintenance jobs.
-- In Hawaii, a project to improve energy efficiency at government buildings will reduce the state's energy expenses while creating an estimated 5,000 jobs.
-- In Alaska, a weatherization project sponsored by the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. is projected to produce 600-plus jobs.
In addition to solar and wind projects, public transportation projects were a major driver of new jobs in April-July with nearly 10,000 jobs in the works. Maryland vaulted into the No. 3 spot because of its announcement of a $2.6 billion, 14-mile expansion to Baltimore's light-rail system.
Illinois and Oregon rounded out the top 5, producing a total of 6,500 new green jobs.
E2 is a national community of individual leaders who advocate for good environmental policy while building economic policy. For a complete look at the report, visit www.e2.org.
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