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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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U.S. D.O.E. Finds Renewables Employed More Americans Than Oil and in Gas in 2016

Wind Energy

A new report by the United States Department of Energy concludes that American renewable energy firms are creating more jobs than their fossil fuel counterparts.

Solar and wind energy companies generated more jobs than oil, coal and natural gas combined, even though the green companies still account for a small portion of total domestic power production.

The findings were part of the U.S. Energy and Employment report released last month and support claims by climate activists that supporting renewables can rejuvenate the economy while revitalizing the planet.

The entire supply chain of the solar and wind industries – including those who manufacture, install and run turbines and panels – now employs 476,000 workers, while fossil fuel companies employ 187,117 people.

Solar energy provides for 1.3 percent of American energy needs and creates twice as many jobs as the coal industry – which President Donald Trump has vowed to bring back, even as the rest of the world works to adopt natural gas and renewables in the fight against climate change.

Coal powers 30 percent of the U.S.’ energy needs, but has been on the decline after Former President Barack Obama launched environmental policies that favored energy sources with lower carbon emissions after use, such as natural gas as well as other green energies.

Related: The Global Impact Of Trump’s Climate Policies

Part of the reason oil and gas companies have lost hundreds of thousands of workers in recent years goes back to the financial effects of a two-year drop in oil prices, which is just now starting to heal itself.

Last November, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other partners agreed to cut production by almost two million barrels per day in an effort to undo the supply glut that caused the original price crash in late 2014.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • ochi on February 16 2017 said:
    So your equation is renewables entire supply chain vs what, US based O&G operator employees? The operator for both sectors is the smallest player. If you are looking at O&G you have to also account for the entire supply chain. The operator today is just a project manager for so many companies. Your 180xK number is off exponentially. This is just bad reporting, really really bad. Please learn how these company (and math) works. Most renewable items are made in LCC, is your supply chain model accounting for that? Is so the exponential difference is growing and growing.
  • Owen Lewis on February 14 2017 said:
    Could you (the author) please highlight the lines in the Department of Energy report that give you the totals you quote in your article? I've looked through the report, and I'm not seeing them anywhere. Thanks!

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