The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the clean energy industry hard, leaving more than 27,000 people jobless during May.
That’s according to unemployment data from the BW Research for E2, E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), which suggests 620,500 clean energy workers have lost their job since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
It notes the number of jobs lost is more than double the number of clean energy jobs created since 2017.
Before March, clean energy had been one of the US fastest-growing employment sectors, growing 10.4% since 2015 to almost three and a half million jobs by the end of 2019.
This figure made clean energy by far the biggest employer of workers in all energy occupations, employing nearly three times as many people as the fossil fuel industry.
According to the analysis, energy efficiency lost more jobs than any other clean energy sector for the third consecutive month in May, shedding about 18,900 jobs.
Bob Keefe, Executive Director at E2, said: “There remains huge uncertainty and volatility ahead. It will be very tough for clean energy to make up these continuing job losses without support from Congress. Lawmakers must act now.”
Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of ACORE, commented: “With commonsense measures like temporary refundability and a delay in the phasedown of renewable energy tax credits, Congress can help restore these good-paying jobs so the renewable sector can continue to provide the affordable, pollution-free power American consumers and businesses want and deserve.”