Ohio Clean Energy & Transportation Jobs are Growing

Ohio’s clean energy and clean transportation jobs grew nearly 5 percent in 2022 and the industry is poised for continued growth thanks to federal climate investments passed last year.

Quick Facts

Growth in clean energy jobs in 2022
Clean energy jobs
Growth of jobs in the clean transportation sector, the state’s fastest-growing sector in 2022

Clean energy companies employed more than 114,000 Ohioans at the end of 2022, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2021. Clean energy is a significant part of Ohio’s economy, and the industry grew by more than 5,000 jobs in the last year. More than four times as many Ohioans worked in clean energy than the number of lawyers, web developers, and real estate agents combined. In 2022, Ohio clean energy jobs grew more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and this growth is expected to continue as federal clean energy and vehicle incentives lead to new clean energy projects, a resurgence of domestic manufacturing, and lower upfront costs for homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements.

Clean Energy Jobs in Ohio

The biggest sector in Ohio’s clean energy industry is energy efficiency, comprising nearly 67 percent of the state’s clean energy workforce. The 76,475 energy efficiency workers in Ohio 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 clean transportation sector saw an increase in employment of over 13 percent in Ohio. The sector added over 2,500 new jobs for a total of 22,431 workers. Electric vehicle-related jobs accounted for most of the sector’s growth.

Renewable energy jobs in solar (4% growth) and wind (12% growth) continue to see gains throughout the state while smaller, emerging subsectors like battery storage technologies (9% growth) and grid modernization (12% growth) are also continuing to grow.

Clean energy jobs are found in every corner of the state. While big cities like Columbus (19,924), Cleveland (19,610), and Cincinnati (15,942) are some of the largest hubs for clean energy jobs, more than one in five — or more than 22,000 — jobs are in rural areas.

Jobs by Sector

Policies Matter

While recent federal policies, including investments and tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades, EV and solar purchases and new clean energy projects create strong tailwinds, there is still more to do. To meet the nation’s goals of reducing climate emissions by 50 percent by 2030, improve equity in the clean energy economy and grow clean energy jobs, lawmakers and policymakers should:

  • Defend against attempts to roll back federal clean energy and vehicle investments: Just one year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, companies are investing over $86 billion in large scale clean energy projects that will lead to the creation of over 74,000 jobs, thanks to the federal investments and incentives in the new law. Of the 210 projects announced, almost a quarter are in Midwestern states. Attempts to rollback provisions of the federal clean energy incentives threaten future clean energy job growth and economic opportunity.
  • Develop and fund federal and state workforce development programs. One of the largest barriers to clean energy job growth is the challenge to fill open positions. Workforce training will be critical to the continued growth of the industry, as nearly 88 percent of employers in Ohio report at least some difficulty hiring workers. Union apprenticeship programs are well-positioned to help meet this demand.
  • Expand transmission to increase access for clean energy projects.  Federal and state governments must work with the Midwest regional transmission organizations to build more transmission. Without more transmission, many wind and solar projects will not be built.
  • Advance state-level clean energy policies. It will be important for Ohio to adopt state policies that leverage federal investment and help create thousands of new jobs, including legislation that would establish voluntary energy efficiency programs and community solar in the state.

Subsector Details

Value Chain

Across all clean energy sectors, the majority of clean energy jobs in Ohio were in construction and manufacturing.

Job Highlights

Small businesses drive Ohio’s clean energy sector – in 2022, 65 percent of the state's clean energy businesses employed fewer than 20 individuals
More than 11 percent of Ohio’s clean energy workers were veterans in 2022

Learn even more about clean energy jobs in Ohio.

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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 2023 U.S. Energy Employment Report (2023 USEER), produced by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership (BWRP).

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