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A worker at the CS Wind factory in Pueblo walks among wind tower segments on Aug. 25, 2023 (Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline).
Colorado’s fast-growing clean energy sector today employs more than twice as many workers statewide as the fossil fuel industry, a report released this week by a trade association found.
The Clean Jobs Colorado report, released annually by clean energy business group E2, analyzed 2022 federal employment data and counted nearly 64,000 Coloradans employed across a range of categories including energy efficiency, renewable electricity generation and clean vehicles. That’s more than double the roughly 30,000 Coloradans directly employed by coal, oil and natural gas, according to E2’s analysis.
“Clean energy jobs are not only critical to the health of the energy industry but also increasingly important driving Colorado’s overall economy forward,” Susan Nedell, E2’s Mountain West advocate, said in a press release. “And this trend will only increase in the coming years as clean energy jobs make up more and more of new jobs.”
Clean energy employers in Colorado aded 2,700 jobs last year, and employment has grown about 11% faster within the industry than in the state’s economy as a whole since 2020.
“If our lawmakers want to keep and continue attracting these good paying jobs to Colorado we need their support for policies that can ensure Colorado workers and businesses reap the economic benefits from the clean energy transition,” Nedell added.
Amid a push by Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy, Colorado is one of only six states in the country to have more than 5,000 workers employed in both solar and wind energy, and ranks 7th nationwide in total renewable generation jobs.
The energy efficiency sector, which includes both traditional HVAC services and renewable or high-efficiency alternatives, accounted for about half of Colorado’s total clean energy jobs in 2022, according to E2’s analysis.
Though hardly a traditional car manufacturing hub, Colorado now has nearly 5,000 workers in the clean vehicle sector. State leaders have touted the jobs created by new and expanded facilities planned by EV battery manufacturers, including a lithium-ion factory in Brighton and an innovative solid-state battery plant in Thornton.
“Proven by these new numbers, Colorado remains one of the most promising regions for renewable energy and energy storage development,” said Mike Kruger, president of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association. “And as the new clean energy projects announced in the past year have shown, Colorado is proving it can compete with anyone for future workers and investment.”
Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.