Clean Energy Industry Report Heralds Positive Employment Growth and Momentum for Connecticut
Hartford, CT (May 2, 2023) – Employment growth in Connecticut’s clean energy industry in 2021 experienced the single highest increase in the past five years, according to the recently released 2022 Connecticut Clean Energy Industry Report. Overall, there are many signs of positive momentum in the sector as it continues to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Total clean energy contributions to statewide Gross Regional Product (GRP) also increased by nearly seven percent and by 21 percent since 2017 to $7.07 billion.
While the 2021 report showed that the state’s clean energy industry was more resilient than other states in the region, Connecticut recovered from pandemic employment losses slightly slower (four percent increase) than the national clean energy labor market (nearly five percent increase).
This is the third industry study produced by the Connecticut Green Bank, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Eversource, and United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., operating through the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board (EEB).
“As noted in prior reports, there continues to be significant progress in the Connecticut clean energy industry,” said Neil Beup, EEB Chair. “While the impact of the pandemic continues, strong partnerships between policy makers and industry stakeholders remain the building blocks of this key segment of our economy.”
Based on analysis from BW Research, employment in this report is divided into five major technology sectors, their component sub-technologies, and industry or value chain segment. The five sectors are: energy efficiency; clean energy generation; alternative transportation; clean grid and storage; and clean fuels. All data presented is based on the 2022 United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER).
Connecticut Green Bank Board Chair Lonnie Reed noted, “The report’s key findings are incredibly positive – more jobs, more diversity, fewer emissions. It also makes clear we need to create more energy efficiency opportunities for homes and businesses by better supporting the enterprises that deliver those services. The report is able to give us a real sense of what is succeeding and what needs work because it features in-depth data collected and analyzed by professionals from multiple agencies and sectors. And that makes it especially valuable.”
Some other key findings include:
- Alternative transportation firms saw unprecedented growth of nearly 29 percent in 2021, bolstered by the hybrid electric and electric vehicle sub-sectors.
- Solar jobs increased by 8.4 percent in 2021.
- The number of firms conducting energy efficiency, clean energy generation, clean fuels, and clean grid and storage work increased between 2020 and 2021.
- Except for energy efficiency, all technology sectors fully recovered from job losses incurred in 2020 and surpassed their pre-pandemic employment levels.
- Connecticut’s clean energy workforce was slightly more diverse in 2021.
- Fewer employers reported experiencing hiring difficulty in 2021 than in 2020, though hiring difficulty remains nearly 14 percent greater than pre-pandemic levels.
“The most recent climate change data cannot not be ignored. Insect populations are declining, icebergs in Greenland melting by the ton, and unrecognizable winters, require that we act now. What’s exciting about the Clean Energy Industry Report is the continued growth and diversity in the sector and the many career paths available, in a time of energy transformation,” said Brenda Watson, Chair of the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank and Executive Director of Operation Fuel. “I want to especially highlight our local energy efficiency vendors in the state who are often the entry point for youth of color, second chance individuals and women, entering the sector.”
“This report shows the strong support companies in Connecticut have for the changing and growing energy landscape and its expanding workforce. More and more of our customers are embracing clean energy through energy efficiency, EVs and other technologies, and we’re fully committed to both working with them and becoming a carbon neutral company by 2030,” said Eversource Director of Energy Efficiency Implementation and Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board member Ron Araujo. “The numbers in this report are further confirmation that we’re on the right path to a green future as our state and the national energy job markets continue to grow.”
“Connecticut’s clean energy industry has begun its recovery from the economic decline in 2020, though still slightly below pre-pandemic levels of employment. The clean energy economy’s recovery is on par with neighboring Massachusetts and slightly above the statewide economic growth rate during this time. Though lower than the nationwide clean energy growth average, Connecticut can likely expect to see continued clean energy job growth in 2023,” said Sarah Lehman, Project Manager, BW Research.
To access the full report, please visit the Green Bank’s societal impact page or download directly at https://www.ctgreenbank.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2022-Clean-Energy-Industry-Report-final-4-5-2023-1.pdf.
About Energize CT and the Joint Committee:
Energize CT is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc., and Eversource, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Learn more at www.energizect.com.
Pursuant to Section 16-245m(d)(2) of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Joint Committee shall examine opportunities to coordinate programs and activities contained in the plan developed under Section 16-245n(c) (i.e., Comprehensive Plan of the Green Bank) with the programs and activities contained in the plan developed under Section 16-245m(d)(1) (i.e., Conservation and Load Management Plan), and to provide financing to increase the benefits of programs funded by the plan developed under Section 16-245m(d)(1) so as to reduce the long-term cost, environmental impacts, and security risks of energy in the state.
To support the Joint Committee, the following is a principal statement to guide its activities: The Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank have a shared goal to implement state energy policy throughout all sectors and populations of Connecticut with continuous innovation towards greater leveraging of ratepayer funds and a uniformly positive customer experience.