welcome

Clean Jobs Florida presents an in-depth look at clean energy employment in Florida. It is based on data from survey research conducted by BW Research, national leader in workforce and economic development research.

Clean Jobs Florida shows that while the clean energy sector is a significant employer in the state, it falls far short of its potential to drive economic growth and add jobs.

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IT’S ALL AROUND US

Clean energy – defined as renewable energy, energy efficiency, alternative transportation, and greenhouse gas management and accounting – is a significant and growing cluster in Florida, yet the Sunshine State has only scratched the surface of its potential.

ADVANCED TRANSPORTATION

It’s clean transportation like electric vehicles or advanced biofuels.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

It’s energy efficiency measures like improved insulation in our homes or windows that block the sun’s heat.

MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING

It’s managing and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

It’s renewable energy like the solar panels on the schools in our community or the wind turbines on our farmers’ fields.

The Florida clean energy industry – defined as renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced transportation, and greenhouse gas emissions management and accounting – employs more than 130,000 workers at more than 14,000 clean energy businesses.

14,000 BUSINESSES
6% GROWTH RATE
75% ENERGY EFFICIENCY

BUT CAN FLORIDA DO BETTER? YES.

JUST LOOK AT…

ILLINOIS

The clean energy industry in Illinois is expected to grow by 9% and will add its 100,000th worker in 2014.

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in clean energy investment and built an industry that supported more than 37,000 jobs.

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts is home to nearly twice as many renewable energy workers, despite significantly smaller solar and wind resources.

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While clean energy is traditionally less diverse by gender, race, and ethnicity than the overall workforce, recent hires demonstrate more diversity in Florida.

About 46 percent of new hires over the past year are racial or ethnic minorities – much higher than average.

Of those, about 70 percent are Hispanic or Latino.

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From Navy SEALs and Air Force fighter pilots to Army soldiers and Marines, returning veterans are increasingly finding good jobs in clean energy.

IMPROVED NATIONAL SECURITY

Veterans understand the value of clean energy – for our economy and for our national security.

 

JOBS FOR VETERANS

About 15 percent of new clean energy hires in Florida are veterans.

 

 

CLEAN ENERGY ON FLORIDA BASES

Bases like Naval Air Station Jacksonville and Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County have both invested in clean energy and energy efficiency measures.

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According to NREL, Florida has enough solar resources to meet all of its electricity needs.

Yet state leaders can do more to expand the solar industry in Florida.

And that would mean more jobs. Of the 11,000+ Floridians who work in renewable energy, more than 7,000 work in solar energy.

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CASE STUDY

When asked about their 30 years of experience in the solar industry, Remo Eyal, CEO of TEVA Alternative Energy, LLC — Superior Solar Systems’ parent company — shared two things that have contributed to the firm’s long success rate: its focus on quality efficient solar systems and commitment to customer service. The Altamonte Springs-based company, which opened its doors in the 1980’s, has been growing steadily — adding 10 employees in the past year and a half alone — and has installed over 20,000 solar systems for residential, commercial, and industrial projects across the state.


“More of our customers are realizing that solar makes financial sense. It provides security and stability. We receive very positive feedback on social media, something we are very proud of, because clients are elated with the end results,” says Eyal.


Despite their success in bringing solar electricity to Florida homeowners, businesses, and manufacturers, policy uncer- tainty at the state and federal levels has created a challenging market for solar companies like Superior Solar. Eyal says,“One of our biggest challenges is the inconsistency of solar incentives…Private utilities provide underfunded programs that get exhausted within minutes each year; this actually hinders our ability to build a stable PV market throughout the year.”

The company cited both the lack of consistentincentives and policies in Florida as well as the sunset of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy in 2016 as creating uncertainty for further investments in solar technologies.

Despite these challenges, Superior Solar has continued to grow by branching out beyond residential and commer- cial projects into larger industrial projects in states like California, Maryland and even a 30,000 sq. feet system in the Caribbean. Regarding growth prospects, Eyal says that

We are selling more solar thermal in addition to the solar systems themselves, and that they are looking to expand into power purchase agreements with their thermal systems. “Only a few companies really do that.”

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ST. PETERSBURG LIGHTING COMPANY EMPLOYS 30 WORKERS

In 2009, sculptor Eric Higgs designed a lighting installation that filled an entire block of downtown Tampa Bay with light. The abstract public art piece was intended to artistically enhance a parking structure, and was part of the city’s beautification efforts. Higgs was an environmentalist in addition to being a sculptor, and recognized that the 20,000 watts required to power the sculpture was a waste of energy. He decided to search for a more energy-efficient lighting solution. Finding none, Higgs recognized the opportunity to create one himself, and partnered with leading lighting innovators to design LED fixtures that cut his sculpture’s power consumption down to 890 watts. Higgs found the quality and efficiency of the lighting to be greater than any market alternative, and LumaStream was born.

LumaStream began with residential customers and the outdoor lighting for the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. As the company grew, it focused on a unique, all-digital approach to LED lighting. While this innovative approach brought its share of challenges, it also brought opportunities, and today LumaStream provides one of the most energy efficient, controllable, safe, and reliable LED solutions on the market. Jennifer Andrews, LumaStream’s marketing manager, notes that


“the patented power distribution technology improves “the performance, reliability, energy efficiency, and controllability of LED lighting,” in addition to reducing maintenance requirements. But viewers are most impressed by the “virtually unlimited number of displays of colors and programma- ble lighting scenes.”

As more customers became aware of the quality and efficiency of LumaStream’s products, the company began designing lighting for restaurant chains and hotels. Today, it has completed hundreds of projects, has offices in Washington and Virginia, and employs more than 30 engineers, lighting specialists, sales representatives, and other staff. When asked about the company’s expansion goals, Andrews laughed and said, “It seems like we are hiring someone new every week.”

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IN EVERY PART OF THE STATE

Employment is nearly evenly distributed across the state, with slightly more workers in the Southwest of the state.

REGION CLEAN ENERGY ESTABLISHMENTS CLEAN ENERGY EMPLOYMENT PERCENTAGE OF STATE CLEAN ENERGY EMPLOYMENT
North 3,504 32,505 24.8%
Central 3,044 30,812 23.5%
Southwest 4,021 36,377 27.8%
Southeast 4,423 31,175 23.8%
Total 14,992 130,869 100%

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