Renewable energy employment surged in 2021, but fossil fuel employment decreased – even though output increased.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the electric car and hybrid industries exhibited a “whopping” 25 percent employment increase and noted the survey indicated renewable energy jobs surpassed economy-wide growth.
Employment in the clean power sector increased by almost 4 percent.
On Monday, June 27, Granholm the number of employments related to fossil fuels either decreased or increased more slowly than the total economy.
Notably, employment in the exploitation of fossil fuels fell by 12 percent in 2021.
Granholm said: “Jobs are growing in industries we need to support a 100% clean power sector,”
As per the research, zero-emissions energy occupations in fields such as solar, wind, and nuclear accounted for 41 percent of all energy jobs last year.
Jobs in the solar business rose at a very rapid rate, rebounding from losses during the 2020 economic slump.
Solar added more than 17,000 employment last year, growing by 5.4 percent, making up for the more than 28,000 jobs the industry lost the year before.
Employment in land-based and offshore wind increased by roughly 3 percent, or more than 3,300 jobs, as the wind increased at a more modest but constant rate. Nuclear energy, a more conventional zero-emission energy source, decreased by roughly 4 percent from 2020.
Fossil fuel production grew in 2021, according to the US Energy Information Administration, but the sector still cut jobs last year, Tuesday’s report found.
Petroleum jobs — onshore and offshore — declined 6.4 percent an equivalent of more than 31,000 lost jobs. Coal fuel jobs declined by nearly 12 percent, a loss of over 7,100 jobs.
While there was some growth in fossil fuel jobs in 2021, it was not enough to overcome the huge losses in the petroleum and coal sectors.
Granholm said: “No one is suggesting that fossil fuel jobs — that the fossil fuel industry is going to be completely eliminated, even as the globe is transitioning to clean energy.
He added the Biden administration wants a clean energy transition to be “managed and orderly” and one that “does not injure people at the pump.”
Granholm said the number of oil and gas employment will likely rise this year due to the continued economic recovery and President Joe Biden’s call for more domestic fossil fuel production in response to the energy crisis in the US and the EU.
He said: “We expect these numbers will probably modulate a bit in 2022.
“You’ll see an increase in employment that corresponds with the increase in supply.”
Biden’s goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, according to White House Deputy National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi, “needs a determination to accelerate renewable energy to a level that we’ve honestly never seen before,”
The fact that Michigan gained the most new energy employment in 2021—35,500—reflects the expansion of electric automobiles. California and Texas came in second and third, with 30,900 and 29,400 respectively.