Southface has released its 2015 Georgia Clean Energy Industry Census that quantifies the clean energy industry’s impact on the state’s economy. The Census identified at least 801 clean energy firms, which directly provide 19,231 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and generate more than $3.3 billion of gross revenue annually.
Georgia continues to be one of the fastest growing solar markets in the country. The state’s solar firms directly provide 2,956 FTE jobs, a 10.2 percent increase from 2014. However, the solar sector is not the state’s largest. The energy efficiency sector directly provides 11,858 FTE jobs and generates $2.1 billion a year.
“Energy efficiency is Georgia’s most abundant homegrown energy source,” said Charles Roy, Southeast Regional Manager at Green South Energy Solutions, a full service building performance firm based in Pooler, Georgia. “Every county has HVAC professionals who can become higher-paid building performance professionals that provide customers with comfortable, safe and energy efficient homes and workplaces.”
While the energy efficiency, solar and biomass sectors employ 85 percent of all clean energy workers, the state also has workers in the smart grid, wind, energy storage, geothermal, fuel cells, hydro and alternative fuel vehicles sectors.
“Entrepreneurship, new business models and collaboration between private industry, government and universities have created a diverse energy industry ecosystem in Georgia,” said Costas Simoglou, Director of the Center of Innovation for Energy Technology at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We anticipate Georgia’s clean energy sectors will create even more investment and employment opportunities in the years to come.”
In addition to direct counts of jobs and revenue from firms across all clean energy sectors, Southface analyzed the jobs and revenue from firms that supply goods/services to energy efficiency and solar firms. This analysis shows that just the energy efficiency and solar sectors have a total statewide benefit of almost 29,000 FTE jobs and $5.1 billion in gross revenue.
These are jobs and revenue that largely remain in state. “The backbone of Georgia’s clean energy economy includes jobs that have to be performed locally and are therefore difficult to outsource,” said Dennis Creech, Southface Executive Director. The Census shows that 75 percent of all clean energy goods and services stay within the state. However, there are opportunities for exporting; firms engaged in clean energy manufacturing/production deliver 44 percent of their goods to out-of-state customers.
The full report is available at http://www.southface.org/2015census. Interactive charts and tables demonstrating Georgia Census results are available at www.cleanenergyindustry.org. The 2015 Georgia Clean Energy Industry Census is funded by a grant from the Energy Foundation and is part of the Southeast Clean Energy Industry Census.