Solar Leads Utility-Scale Additions, Midwest Clean Jobs Grow and United Flies Green

March Cleantech Roundup

Clean Energy Trust’s monthly cleantech roundup recaps the most relevant information on the cleantech sector, from policy changes to technology updates and investment news. It’s all things clean energy, finance, policy, and technology.

National

The Energy Information Administration projects that solar will lead utility-scale capacity additions in 2016,. Electric generating facilities expect to add more than 26 gigawatts (GW) of utility scale capacity in 2016 – 9.5 GW of solar, 8.0 GW of natural gas, and 6.8 GW of wind. All told, these three technologies are projected to make up 93% of total additions.

EIA_predictions2016

Region

On March 21, Clean Energy Trust, in partnership with Environment Entrepreneurs, published the Clean Jobs Midwest jobs survey project. A few key highlights:

  • Theclean energy economy in the Midwest currently employs nearly 569,000 workers. The sector is large and growing, but smart policy can accelerate job creation.
  • 423,000 Midwesterners– or three out of every four clean energy employees – work in Energy Efficiency. They help reduce energy waste in our homes, schools and businesses.
  • Small businesses drive theclean energy sector in the Midwest, with over 75% of businesses employing fewer than 25 individuals.
  • CleanJobs Midwest provides unique, powerful geographical job data at the county, state legislative districts, congressional districts, and metropolitan statistical areas.  Check out the interactive map here.

State

Illinois leads the Midwest in clean energy jobs.

Oregon’s legislature passed a bill to establish a 50% renewable portfolio standard by 2040.

Recommended Reading

Rob Day provides important takeaways from cleantech venture capital investing

E&E News has an in-depth look at NRG’s efforts to pivot into the clean energy industry in a two-part series.

Katie Fehrenbacher explores United Airlines’ commitment to biofuels even in the face of low oil prices.

A recent study suggests U.S. Offshore wind costs could drop by as much as 55% within the next 13 years as companies gain experience.

Critics explain the damages that come from energy forecasters consistently underestimating wind and solar.

By Alex Foucault | April 6, 2016