Florida green jobs are among the top in the country, as the state’s clean energy economy increased by 7.9 percent from 1998 to 2007.
“The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America,” a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts, placed Florida among the top 10 states for jobs in the clean energy economy.
During 2007, there were more than 31,100 jobs in Florida’s clean energy economy and 3,831 clean businesses. During the last three years, venture capital investment in clean technology throughout the state totaled almost $117 million. Half of that has gone to support clean energy generation.
Florida also was named as the only state in the country with its own cap-and-trade policy, which helps to create market demand for clean energy generation. Last year, Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill into law that enacted several new energy and climate change policies, including the Florida Climate Protection Act, which authorizes the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop an electric-utility greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
Overall, the clean energy economy increased by 9.1 percent throughout the country from 1998 to 2007. During the same time, however, total jobs only increased by about 3.7 percent. During 2007, more than 68,200 businesses throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for about 770,000 jobs relating to clean energy.
During 2007, California had the most green-collar jobs, at 124,000, followed by Texas with 56,000 jobs. In comparison, fossil-fuel sector jobs in utilities, coal mining and oil and gas extraction made up about 1.27 million workers that year.
Pew’s definition of green jobs includes engineers, plumbers, administrative assistants, construction workers, machine setters, marketing consultants, teachers and many others. Green employees gain an average salary ranging from $21,000 to $111,000.