Rhode Island’s clean energy sector supports nearly 10,000 jobs, according to a new report from the state’s Office of Energy Resources. The report is based on surveys of more than 650 businesses.
State Energy Commissioner Marion Gold said small businesses across Rhode Island will continue to create jobs in areas such as energy efficiency and renewable energy installation over the next year. The industry has grown by nearly 7 percent since 2014. Gold expects solar energy to boost continued growth.
“The thing that’s exciting about this is that it does show that there are opportunities to grow the economy while tackling the really difficult challenges that we face with climate change,” said Gold.
Gold said the sector is dominated by small businesses with a variety of employees.
“There are jobs at a starting level for the things like insulating homes and retrofitting apartments to make them more energy efficient,” said Gold, “and then jobs where you need a lot more training like engineering, software development, trying to figure out what the energy system of the future will look like.”
The report focused on areas such as energy efficiency and renewable energy. Authors project 17 percent growth for the industry over the next year.
Gold said the report is good news for college students looking for job opportunities in renewable energy as engineers or developers. The industry is still relatively small, representing only about 2.1 percent of all jobs in the Ocean State.
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