New report counts more than 13,000 renewable energy jobs in Pa.

  • Katie Colaneri

John Bennett is site manager at the Twin Ridges Wind Farm in Somerset County, Pa.

John Bennett is site manager at the Twin Ridges Wind Farm in Somerset County, Pa.

A new report shows the renewable and alternative energy industry supports more than 13,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.
The Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and Environmental Entrepreneurs – the two nonprofit organizations that put out the report – are touting it as the first full accounting of these jobs, which are not tracked by the state.
The state Department of Labor and Industry only counts employment in the coal, oil, gas, and nuclear energy sectors and puts out a monthly report on Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling jobs. The agency gets statistics on solar and wind jobs, for example, from trade associations.
“There hasn’t been formal data on these types of jobs in Pennsylvania,” said KEEA Executive Director Brian Kauffman. “So that was one of the major motivations [for the report] to get a sense of where we are so we can get a sense of where we’re going.”

The report totals 13,345 people employed in the renewable and alternative energy generation sectors, which includes biomass (5,231 jobs), solar (3,897), wind (1,207), and combined heat and power (1,281). That figure also accounts for 1,729 workers in “other renewable sources and activities.”
Department of Labor Statistics spokeswoman Lindsay Bracale told StateImpact Pennsylvania in an email the agency doesn’t count these jobs because the federal system used to classify the country’s employers “does not have a classification specific to those alternative energy categories.”

However, the authors of this report used the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to help compile a list of companies in this sector. Researchers contacted the companies and administered surveys online and over the phone.
StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick contributed reporting.
Read the report here:

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