Those in energy-related positions make up about 8% of the U.S. workforce, but many sectors of the energy industry are seeing reductions in job numbers. One stark contrast to the shrinking oil and coal industries is renewables, which is slated to grow by about 170% in terms of hiring over the next decade as the nation nears the 25% renewable energy mark.
Some energy companies are beginning to follow the economics behind renewables, mainly that you do not have to pay a supplier, and deal with constant transportation logistics, for solar, wind and hydro power.
Overall, jobs related to renewable energy should nearly triple by 2027 according to industry analysts. These include positions related to power supplied by wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, biomass and geothermal production methods, as well as transmission, construction and support staff.
Driving much of this growth are state mandates that require a certain percentage of power come from renewable sources (California requires 33% of all electricity generated to be renewable by 2020) and subsidies by the federal government.
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Even with comparatively low oil and natural gas prices, renewable energy seems to be growing at a healthy rate in the United States. If fossil fuel prices rise anywhere near 2008 levels in the future, the expansion of renewable energy could grow at an even faster rate.
Sources: energy.gov, bls.gov