A Return to Rapid Clean Energy Job Growth in Kansas

Kansas clean energy and clean transportation jobs grew by over 5 percent in 2021, with electric vehicle manufacturing jobs leading the way

Quick Facts

Growth in clean energy jobs in 2021
Clean energy jobs
Growth of jobs in the clean transportation sector, the region’s fastest-growing sector in 2021

Clean energy companies employed almost 24,000 Kansans at the end of 2021, over a 5 percent increase from 2020 and a return to growth after an unprecedented decline in 2020. Approximately 53 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. More Kansans worked in clean energy than the number of lawyers, accountants and auditors, web developers, and real estate agents in the state combined.

Clean Energy Jobs in Kansas

The biggest sector of the Kansas clean energy industry is energy efficiency, over 69 percent of the state’s clean energy workforce. The 16,394 energy efficiency workers in Kansas 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 26 percent in Kansas. The sector added 488 new jobs for a total of 2,403 workers. Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric-vehicle sector jobs accounted for most of the sector’s growth.

Solar energy jobs, another highlight in Kansas, grew by 14.8 percent to 1,092 workers.

Jobs by Sector

Policies Matter

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:

  • Implement recently passed federal policies and funding to support a rapid and just transition to clean energy. The IRA, IIJA, and the CHIPS and Science Act include a combined investment of hundreds of billions of dollars in the clean energy economy. Coordination across federal, state, and local agencies will be integral to maximize the effectiveness of this historic level of funding.
  • Develop and fund federal and state workforce development programs. Workforce training will be critical to the continued growth of the industry, as nearly 87 percent of employers in the state report at least some difficulty hiring workers.
  • Expand our regional transmission grid and increase access for clean energy projects. The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)’s recent announcement of new transmission infrastructure will improve the region’s congested grid. More is needed from MISO and the Midwest’s other regional transmission organizations, PJM and the Southwest Power Pool, as many wind and solar projects will not be built if the transmission is not there to integrate them.
  • Advance state-level clean energy policies. It will be important for Kansas to enact state policies and strategies that support renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and hydrogen to leverage federal investment and help create thousands of new jobs.

Subsector Details

Value Chain

Across all clean energy sectors, the majority of clean energy jobs in Kansas were in construction and professional services.

Job Highlights

Small businesses drive Kansas clean energy sector – in 2021, 61 percent of the state’s clean energy businesses employed fewer than 20 individuals
Approximately 9% of Kansas’s clean energy workers were veterans

Learn even more about clean energy jobs in the Midwest.

More Jobs Data

Fact Sheet

Media Kit

View More Resources Here

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.

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