Texas leads growth in clean energy jobs

WASHINGTON — Texas, California and New York were among the nation’s leaders in adding green energy jobs during the final months of 2013, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

Texas led the tally, with 3,286 jobs announced during the fourth quarter in building efficiency, alternative energy, public transportation and other “clean energy” jobs, said the analysis by the non-partisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

The Lone Star State’s haul was more than double the 1,265 clean energy jobs announced in New York during the same time frame, and the 1,112 added in California. Arizona ranked No. 2 in the lineup because of a single project supporting 1,585 clean energy jobs.

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Southwestern states were responsible for nearly 40 percent of the jobs announced in the final three months of the year.

Spikes in wind and solar manufacturing contributed to the numbers nationwide. Wind was a major driver in Texas.

New jobs drop

But overall, fourth-quarter clean energy job announcements — which totaled 13,000 nationwide — fell by about 30 percent from the same period in 2012.

E2, a group of business leaders that advocate environmental policies, attributed much of the decline to stiff competition from low-priced natural gas as well as efforts to roll back some state policies that encourage renewable power investments.

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California and Texas led the nation in announcements of clean energy jobs, according to an analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs. (Graphic: Environmental Entrepreneurs)

California and Texas led the nation in announcements of clean energy jobs, according to an analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs. (Graphic: Environmental Entrepreneurs)

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have renewable energy mandates, but last year, policymakers in North Carolina, Kansas and Ohio sought to do away with those policies.

A suite of federal tax credits that help drive energy efficiency and renewable power investments also expired at the end of 2013.

Wind tax credit

It appears increasingly unlikely that Congress will move this year to renew the expired production tax credit that allows renewable project owners to reduce their tax bills by 2.3 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce over a decade.

Study: Texas biggest earner from wind tax credit

The tax credit has flickered in and out of existence over the past two decades — a situation that E2 said has “created an environment where the wind industry grows in fits and starts, with regulatory uncertainty holding up investments and placing companies and their workers at financial risk.”

The E2 analysis found that California topped the nation in new clean energy jobs for all of 2013, with 15,397 announced. Texas ranked No. 2, with 6,368. The full breakdown for 2013 was:

  1. California: 15,397
  2. Texas: 6,368
  3. Hawaii: 5,748
  4. Maryland: 4,679
  5. Massachusetts: 4,527
  6. Illinois: 3,815
  7. Nevada: 3,358
  8. Oregon: 3,267
  9. New York: 3,194
  10. Missouri: 2,800

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