Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) announced that green job growth, defined as jobs in the clean energy sector and related industries, slowed significantly in the third quarter. Q3 2012 green job announcements totaled 10,819, which is a drastic decline from the 37,000+ jobs announced in Q2 and the more than 46,000 green jobs announced in the first quarter of 2012.
Results from the latest E2 analysis were released today. The report, What Clean Energy Jobs? These Clean Energy Jobs! (PDF) focused on clean energy job announcements and hiring opportunities and not on the actual number of jobs created. During the third quarter, 66 new and ongoing projects were tracked. These projects could add up to 10,819 new green jobs in several industries including public transportation, energy efficiency and power generation sectors.
The significant slowdown in green job growth may be tied to the uncertain political climate during the third quarter, including the looming expiration of the production tax credit (PTC). A PTC extension is required to keep the wind industry growing.
"It's hard to expand your business and create new jobs with this much political uncertainty affecting the wind industry," said Jacob Susman, founder and CEO of OwnEnergy, Inc, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based wind farm developer.
"The election is now over, and the political posturing needs to end," Susman said. “Congress should give businesses like mine the certainty we need to grow, by passing the Senate Finance Committee's version of the PTC in the upcoming tax extenders package that will let us all get back to work." Source: E2
Concerns over the expiring PTC have prompted E2 analysts to begin tracking wind energy job losses. E2 reports that since January, 20 wind industry job layoff announcements have been made. These announcements cover workers in 17 states and to date, more than 3,200 jobs have been lost. While this figure doesn’t sound very high, 18 of the 20 announcements came in the third quarter alone, perhaps signaling an increasing trend of job losses during the fourth quarter and beyond.
Even if the PTC is extended, the delay of passing the extension is already having a negative impact on wind industry employment. With the fiscal cliff looming, the PTC may fall between the cracks, putting thousands more at risk of losing their job.
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