More than 106,000 clean energy workers lost their jobs in the month of March alone, wiping out all the job gains in renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean vehicles and other clean energy sectors in 2019, according to an analysis of unemployment data by BW Research for E2.
The March layoffs were just the first indication of how badly the clean energy industry has been hit by the COVID-19 and economic crises. Much bigger job cuts are expected in the months ahead—making it imperative that Congress and state lawmakers seek ways to get the industry back on its feet, especially since clean energy has a proven history of helping pull the country out of economic crises.
What had been one the nation’s fastest-growing jobs sectors at the start of the year by March was experiencing significant job losses every week.
The job losses are across a wide variety of occupations, and in every state. Energy efficiency workers are losing their jobs after being shut out of homes and buildings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Solar and wind turbine companies are laying off workers as they’re unable to access panels and parts stranded in shut-down factories and as financing disappears. Factory workers are being let go as assembly lines for Energy Star appliances and electric and hybrid vehicles are ground to a halt.