by Genna Gores
The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, reveals that the renewable energy industry employs more people than the entire fossil fuel industry (including petroleum oil, natural gas, and coal). The report goes on to compare employment opportunities between 2015 and 2016 for all types of energy within the Electric Power Generation sector, which includes: solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower, nuclear, fossil fuels, and other generation/fuels. It is evident with this report that solar and other renewable energies are a rapidly growing industry with increasing employment opportunities for Americans.
Within the 2015–2016 year the solar industry has increased by 25 per cent and added 73,000 jobs, which puts solar alone at 374,000 jobs, making up 43% of the Electric Power Generation sector. Wind energy also increased 32%. Greatly exceeding the 187,117 jobs in the American fossil fuel sector which makes up only 22% of the work force, and only an 11% increase in jobs between 2015 and 2016. While the fossil fuel industry is still adding new jobs, it is not nearly at the same rate as renewable energies. [https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20US%20Energy%20and%20Jobs%20Report_0.pdf]
This report comes at an interesting time because President Donald Trump made it very clear that he does not support the green renewable energy industry, and in his energy manifesto said that he will utilize“’America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.’” Mr. Trump seems set on boosting fossil fuels despite the fact that industries, such as coal, have seen a net generation decrease of coal sources by 53% over the past 10 years, and solar had an increase of over 5000 per cent. [[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-solar-power-employs-more-people-more-oil-coal-gas-combined-donald-trump-green-energy-fossil-fuels-a7541971.html]
The facts are obvious that the renewable industry is one worth investing in, but with the Trump presidency many people are worried that market will collapse. There is frustration in the community because reports, like the one from the Department of Energy, demonstrate that renewable energy is one that employs people in general, but more specifically, Americans. The future for green energy is up in the air right now, and hopefully renewable industries will survive the next four years because their job growth is critical.