LINCOLN — More than 18,400 Nebraska residents now work in clean energy industries in 92 out of 93 counties in the state, according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).
Nebraska’s clean energy workforce now employs more than 5 times as many people than all the computer programmers and web developers in the state, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.
Energy efficiency once again led all clean energy sectors in Nebraska, employing 13,024 workers — accounting for seven in 10 of all clean energy workers. Clean vehicles came in second with more than 1,500 jobs, led by hybrids and electric vehicles with 1,363.
According to CET, Nebraska’s growing importance in America’s transition to renewable energy generation has added 100 new jobs from 2016 to 2017 (3.2 percent job growth). Overall, Nebraska now employs six times more workers in clean energy than fossil fuels.
Contributing the most clean energy jobs were Douglas (5,861), Lancaster (3,045) and Sarpy (1,639) counties. Omaha and Lincoln metro areas combined are home to 10,444 jobs, while more than 7,800 jobs came from Nebraska’s rural areas.
Other key findings of the analysis:
— Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, employs 3,168 Nebraska residents.
— More than 500 Nebraska residents now work in grid modernization and energy storage.
— The majority of Nebraska’s clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing (68.8 percent).
— Clean fuels and clean vehicle technologies employ 1,723 workers.
— Small businesses are driving Nebraska’s clean energy sectors, with 68.8 percent of clean energy businesses employing fewer than 20 individuals.
— 10.3 percent of Nebraska residents employed in clean energy are veterans.