New York State had 146,000 clean energy jobs at the end of 2016, with the Finger Lakes region among the three areas statewide with the highest concentration of clean energy workers overall, according to the inaugural 2017 New York Clean Energy Industry Report.

Photo credit: NYSERDA

The state showed a historical 3.4 percent growth in clean energy jobs from December 2015-2016, while employment statewide was at 1.9 percent. Of all clean energy technologies, jobs in renewable energy are growing the fastest with 6 percent growth in 2016 and an expected 12 percent growth in 2017. This outpaces job additions in the other major areas of New York State’s economy, said  Alicia Barton, President and CEO of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, in the report.

Energy efficiency accounts for 75 percent of the clean energy jobs across the state, while 84,000 workers involved in installation, maintenance, or repair of clean energy technologies and systems. The Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions were the others with many employees in the clean energy sector.

New York is ahead on the innovation curve as well. It continues to invest in innovative clean energy technologies. The grid modernization and storage sector is an area of significant innovative activity, with the highest percentage of companies primarily working with pre-commercial products—roughly 35 percent. Grid modernization and storage companies have secured the most investment dollars from 2012 through 2016 compared with any other technology sector, the report states.

Despite declining federal innovation funding and global decreases in clean energy investments, companies across the state have been successful at attracting capital with NYSERDA playing a critical role in supporting innovation. The report notes New York’s vibrant innovation ecosystem and assets such as university research centers, startup companies, incubators and accelerators, with notable concentrations in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, New York City, Long Island, the Mid-Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. From a technology perspective, grid modernization and storage are important technology strengths in the State’s clean energy innovation economy.

The 2017 New York Clean Energy Industry Report analyzes data to produce useful insights for New York as the state seeks to meet its climate goals while creating jobs and economic opportunity.