Clint Wilder of Clean Edge gave a talk on jobs in the cleantech sector at Tuesday's Cooley cleantech event.  Wilder presented data based on the findings in their recent report (downloadable here).

Greentech is one of the "bright spots for the U.S. economy," according to Wilder, and the sector will factor as a key part of "the battle for global economic supremacy in the next century."

There are approximately three million jobs in cleantech in this global growth market.  According to the report's findings, globally there are 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in solar, 500,000 jobs in wind power and 700,000 jobs in Brazilian ethanol, although there have been some recent layoffs in the windpower industry as that market suffers some setbacks.  For a more detailed look at jobs in the solar industry, check out the report at The Solar Foundation.

The top three publicly traded pure-play cleantech firms are:

  • Vestas with 20,000 employees
  • LDK Solar with 13,000 employees
  • Suntech

The majority of the top ten pure-play cleantech firms are based in China.  When industrial inputs are energy, capital and labor and energy and capital are subsidized or free -- China will win almost every time.

Bright spots for U.S. manufacturing include Abound Solar and their cadmium telluride solar manufacturing plant, as well as the Tesla Nummi plant in Fremont, California.

The San Francisco Bay Area currently is number one in U.S. cleantech jobs (and baseball) this year, although that S.F. baseball team is non-native, as are most Californians.  According to the report, there are 500,000 greentech-related jobs in the state of California.


Advanced transportation enters the top 5 sector ranking for the first time.


As per the report, greentech and clean energy "continues to fuel the plans of many cities, states, nations, investors, and companies as they look for the next wave of innovation and growth. And on many counts, the clean-energy sector is delivering new job and economic opportunities, as it moves from a once-marginalized niche to an increasingly cost-competitive, mainstream offering. There are many challenges facing the sector, but clean energy and more broadly, clean tech, offer some of the largest growth opportunities on the global economic horizon."