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Due to pandemic, clean energy has shed nearly 600,000 US jobs

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A report released on Wednesday indicates that the U.S. clean energy sector is losing 17% of its workforce, or nearly 600,000 jobs, as residence orders halt the production of solar-panel components, electric cars and slow installations in homes and businesses.

The sector lost 447,200 jobs, around three times that of the 147,100 lost in March, when the States began lock-out orders in order to fight the propagation of the new coronavirus, according to analyzes by the BW Research Partnership of US unemployment data.

While they represent a small proportion of the total job losses of the country during the period, the decrease in employment in the clean energy industry has exceeded estimates. After a similar study last month, BW Research forecast a sector-wide loss of 500,000 jobs by the end of June. It expects 850,000 job losses in that time, around a quarter of all clean energy jobs.

"The figures do not suggest that we are yet to get to the bottom," said Phil Jordan, BW Research Partnership Leader in a statement.

According to the Department of Labor, total US unemployment claims reached 33,5 million from mid-March.

The job losses in the clean energy industry are a devastating blow to a rapidly growing industry. The loss of 594,347 jobs is more than twice that of the sector since 2017.

Energy efficiency represented 70 percent of losses because contractors with efficient lighting or heating and cooling systems failed to access homes and offices. According to the report, renewable energy has created over 95,000 jobs and the clean vehicle industry has lost 46,500 jobs.

California was hit hardest by the state, with over 100,000 jobs lost. In April alone, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Michigan lost more than 22,000 jobs for clean energy, said the report.

Clean energy trading groups have lobbied Congress to extend renewable energy projects to qualify to reduce job losses for the sunsetting of federal tax credits.

Article Edited by | John Heine |

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