Connecticut leaders in renewable energy have released an industry report that evaluates the slowed growth of clean energy jobs in the state. The report examined how the industry might recover from COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown on the industry.
The report was produced by the Joint Committee of the Energy Efficiency Board and the Connecticut Green Bank. A survey of clean energy contractors revealed that the negative impacts of COVID-19 were more pronounced in the clean energy industry than the average across Connecticut job sectors.
At the end of 2019, just over 44,000 workers in Connecticut were employed in green jobs. The 2020 projection of over 46,000 workers has now fallen to 40,600. The report says the industry is well positioned to make a rapid comeback.
Matthew Krzyzek is an associate economist with the state Department of Labor. He said the comeback will happen because two of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. are green jobs. He said other sectors will rely on the green economy, either by increased demand or the need for enhanced skills.
"What this shows are green occupations that have the highest percent increases. They’re the usual suspects, turbines and solar. There are other occupations that have green characteristics, such as the refuse and recyclable material collectors and even bus drivers," he said.
The report found that the industry has learned to adapt to allow for physical distancing in most workplaces, and that there is a steady demand for clean energy supported by state programs.