Looking for a job in a growing industry? The renewable
energy industry is a smart move. Minnesota’s clean energy jobs are reaching new
heights. In the last year, the renewable job market grew two and a half times
faster than the overall economy, and twice as fast in Minnesota, ranking 6th
in the Midwest. Now standing at an astounding 61,047
(a 4.7 percent increase) in sectors including wind, solar and storage,
Minnesota continues to be a national leader in the advancement of sustainable
Minnesota’s renewable energy generation jobs increased
by 11.8 percent in 2018, making it the strongest job growth in the Midwest. Wind
and solar remain the two largest employers in the renewable energy sector as
they dominate the U.S. electricity market, with solar being the rising star.
Minnesota ranks 13th
in the nation in solar energy, and was responsible for
more than half of all Midwestern solar jobs in the last year, employing 4,917
of its own citizens. Direct
wind employment in the state has reached over 3,000, and
1,862 Minnesotans work in energy storage.
While the numbers don’t lie, there are misconceptions
about what “clean energy jobs” are. These professions aren’t limited to project
developers, installers and technicians. Minnesota’s growing renewable economy
is actually considerably diverse. Clean energy
jobs include engineers, lawyers and financial analysts, as well as utility,
construction, manufacturing, trade, professional service and other service
jobs. Construction and professional services make up 59.2 percent (ranking
second behind North Dakota) and 11.3 percent of clean energy jobs in Minnesota,
Corporate America has finally begun to realize the
environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy, and local
companies have made significant strides in recent years to
contribute to the growth in clean energy jobs. Xcel Energy has been very vocal
about its commitment to renewable energy, and continues to be an active and key
component to the carbon-free mission. Mortenson Construction in Minneapolis and
Ulteig Engineers, an engineering firm with offices in St. Paul and Detroit
Lakes added 1,600 staff members in the last five years. Over 180 companies support
over 8,700 Minnesota energy jobs. As prices decline and consumer demand goes
up, renewable energy businesses and jobs are certain to build upon these
While clean energy jobs populate much of the urban
areas of the state – most notably in Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties – renewable energy still provided over $12.7
million to rural Minnesota counties through a wind energy production tax. As America’s energy sector transitions to a clean energy economy, states
across the nation are preparing for a future with huge growth in clean jobs.
Minnesota employers are especially anticipating this next chapter.
In the next year alone, Minnesotans could expect a 7.3 percent growth rate,
with more than 4,400 jobs. In 2018, Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation
conducted a study
that found the wind and solar industries in the state could create an
additional 44,000 jobs by 2050.
That’s why for good, family-supporting jobs, renewable
energy is just smart.