Clean energy companies employed more than 30,000 Iowans at the end of 2021, a five percent increase from 2020 and a return to growth after an unprecedented decline in 2020. Approximately 46 percent of the clean energy jobs lost during the COVID-19 economic downturn were regained. In 2021, clean energy jobs grew over 2 times faster than the overall economy. Almost twice as many Iowans worked in clean energy than the number of lawyers, accountants and auditors, web developers, and real estate agents in the state combined.
The biggest sector of the Iowa clean energy industry is energy efficiency, over 62 percent of the state’s clean energy workforce. The 18,864 energy efficiency workers in Iowa manufacture ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, install efficient lighting, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and install advanced building materials in homes and commercial buildings.
As more automakers and their suppliers continued to shift to electric vehicles, the advanced transportation sector saw an increase of 25 percent in Iowa. The sector added 713 new jobs for a total of 3,594 workers. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric-vehicle sector jobs accounted for most of the sector’s growth.
Solar energy jobs, another highlight in Iowa, grew by 14.9 percent to 1,030 workers.
Recent federal policies like the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and the CHIPS and Science Act make unprecedented investments in the clean energy economy and create promise for strong future growth in clean energy jobs.
Still, there is more to do to meet the nation’s climate goals of reducing climate emissions by 50 percent by 2030, improving equity in the clean energy economy, and growing clean energy jobs:
Across all clean energy sectors, the majority of clean energy jobs in Iowa were in construction and manufacturing.
Learn even more about clean energy jobs in the Midwest.More Jobs Data
Unless otherwise stated, the data and analyses presented in this report by Evergreen Climate Innovations and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) are based on data collected for the 2021 U.S. Energy Employment Report (2021 USEER), produced by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership (BWRP).
The jobs heat map displayed above is based on 2020 data.