The Clean Energy Economy is a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts that shows the emerging clean energy economy has grown significantly over the last decade. According to the report, between 1998 and 2007 the number of clean energy jobs grew at almost 3 times the rate of jobs in general.
The report provides a detailed analysis and listing of clean tech jobs by type and by state. Pew classifies clean tech jobs into 5 categories: clean energy, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly production, conservation and pollution mitigation and training and support.
The report points out that the majority of current clean energy jobs are in conservation and pollution mitigation, but job growth over the last few years is faster in the other categories.
We believe small businesses will play a key role in the emerging clean energy economy. Power production via environmentally friendly methods (solar and wind, for example) is often small scale and distributed. These systems require local installation, maintenance and support and small suppliers are well suited to these tasks.
Conservation, mitigation and increased energy efficiency includes retrofitting existing plant and equipment - another set of tasks where small businesses will be competitive. Training and support is an industry with lots of small players and small training and support firms should do well in the clean energy area.
The next decade will see substantial growth in the clean energy economy and new small business opportunities will be created.