Jobs related to clean energy in Minnesota have grown 5.3 percent over the past year and now number 57,351, with the highest concentration in energy efficiency, according to a study released Thursday by a clean energy group.
“It’s a win for jobs and the economy … and for affordable and reliable energy,” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said on a telephone news conference
The clean energy sector added 2,893 jobs during the past 12 months, sporting a growth rate that was 3.8 percent higher than the state’s job growth rate as a whole, according to the study released by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, an industry-led nonprofit group. Clean energy jobs comprised 1.9 percent of the state’s employment.
The energy efficiency sector accounted for 86.1 percent or 49,359 of clean energy jobs in Minnesota, according to the study. Energy efficiency jobs include workers involved in trades such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) that make buildings more energy efficient.
The category also includes manufacturers of energy efficient products, such as window makers Marvin Cos. and Andersen Windows. Clean Energy Economy includes jobs that only partly involve clean energy. So an HVAC worker might be working on both traditional and clean-energy related projects; ditto for window manufacturers.
The second largest sector for clean energy jobs is renewable energy, which covers building and installing wind turbines and solar power arrays. That sector employs 6,181, or 10.8 percent of total clean energy jobs in Minnesota, the study found. The renewable energy sector expanded the fastest over the past year, growing at 15.7 percent rate.
The study said that 59 percent of Minnesota’ total clean energy jobs were in the building trades, followed by 12 percent in professional services; 11 percent in manufacturing; 9 percent in trade; and 5 percent at utilities.