Clean energy businesses in Kansas added more than 1,200 workers in 2021, now employing 23,821 Kansans across the state. That’s according to a new analysis of employment data released by the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and nonprofit Evergreen Climate Innovations.
The numbers indicate after a mild downturn across all energy jobs in 2020, Kansas clean energy jobs grew 6 percent in 2021, over 2 times faster than the overall economy. According to Clean Jobs Midwest 2022, growth in 2021 was driven by advanced transportation, which added more than 480 jobs and now employs 2,403 workers statewide.
Despite the recent growth, clean energy jobs still have significant room to grow in Kansas. With billions in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act preparing to be invested nationwide, the state has an enormous opportunity to create tens of thousands more jobs in the coming years. To see the full potential of job and emission reduction benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act, state and federal coordination is needed. Policies that remove barriers for clean energy development like the development of workforce training programs and expansion of transmission infrastructure will also be critical.
According to the analysis, the energy efficiency sector continued to lead clean energy in total jobs in 2021 with more than 16,390 workers followed by renewable energy (3,679 jobs) and advanced transportation (2,403 jobs). Meanwhile, advanced transportation saw the fastest job growth across clean energy (25 percent), followed by grid and storage and clean fuels (both grew at 6.7% percent).
Clean energy employment grew 5 percent nationwide to reach 3.2 million jobs. The Midwest also saw clean energy jobs increase 5 percent, a rate faster than overall employment growth in the region. The 12 state Midwest region is now home to over 714,000 clean energy jobs.
- Clean energy occupations accounted for 11 percent of all construction jobs and 1 percent of all manufacturing jobs in Kansas.
- Small businesses drive Kansas’s clean energy sector – in 2021, 61 percent of Kansas’s clean energy businesses employed fewer than 20 people.
- 9 percent of Kansans employed in clean energy are veterans.
For a full breakdown of clean energy jobs for every state in the Midwest, see www.cleanjobsmidwest.com – including profiles of workers in each sector.