Almost 429,000 jobs were lost from the US clean energy sector in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A new report by BW Research Partnership suggests the clean energy industry ended the year with its fewest number of workers since 2015.
The analysis shows 2020 became the first year the renewable energy sector saw a decline in jobs compared to the previous year.
Researchers forecast the sector will not return to pre-Covid employment levels until 2023.
According to the data, Georgia had the highest rate of unemployment, with more than 30% of its clean energy workforce still unemployed, followed by Kentucky at 27%.
Phil Jordan, Vice President at BW Research Partnership, said: “Clean energy had been one of the nation’s fastest-growing sectors over the past five years, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In addition to clawing back the jobs we lost in 2020, we need to help the sector return to growth mode and get back to creating economic opportunities for more Americans in 2021.”
Gregory Wetstone, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said: “While the emergency relief provisions in the year-end spending package can help, we look forward to working with the incoming Biden administration and the new Congress to move past the endless cycle of temporary stopgap measures and finally enact the kind of comprehensive, long-term, scientifically-driven climate policy that puts millions to work building the clean energy future Americans want and deserve.”