Advanced Energy Industry Employs 143,000 Workers in Texas, with Employment Expected to Increase 7% This Year

Employment in Texas’s advanced energy industry stands at an estimated 143,023 workers. That’s more people than are employed in chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining, twice as many as employed by airlines, and nearly as many working in building construction in the Lone Star State. Employers engaged in advanced energy business expect to increase their workforce by 7 percent this year, which would bring Texas’s advanced energy industry to over 152,000 jobs.
These are some of the findings of Advanced Energy Jobs in Texas, a new report released by the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA). 
“Advanced energy is a large and growing industry in Texas, and it’s paying off in real jobs for Texans,” said Suzanne Bertin, Executive Director of Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), a business association of advanced energy companies in Texas. “The reliability and cost benefits of advanced energy technologies are driving growth in the industry, and employers expect to add jobs in the coming year. That’s good news for our companies and for the Texas economy.”
A new Energy Employment Index, produced by BW Research Partnership, makes it possible to quantify jobs in the advanced energy industry for the first time. The Index is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a detailed survey of more than 20,000 businesses nationwide conducted between September and November of 2015. The Index is the basis for the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s first annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report, which was published in March. 
For TAEBA, BW Research Partnership was able to draw on the Index, which covers employment in the entire energy industry, to quantify the jobs directly associated with advanced energy in the state of Texas. 
In this report, advanced energy employees are defined as full-time and part-time permanent employees of businesses that are engaged in making or deploying advanced energy products and services for all or a portion of their revenue, and who themselves support the advanced energy portion of these businesses.
Advanced energy workers are those who spend some or all of their time on advanced energy work such as energy efficiency, advanced electricity generation (including wind, solar, and natural gas), biofuels, advanced grid technology, and advanced vehicles.
The report also illustrates the variety of jobs with eight profiles of Texas advanced energy workers.
“Working in the solar industry was the number-one draw for me,” said Robyn Kenkel of Sunnova Energy Corp. in Houston, one of the workers profiled. “It’s rare that you have an opportunity to be part of something so innovative and transformational.”
The TAEBA jobs report follows Advanced Energy in Texas, published last year, a market report that found advanced energy represented a $16 billion industry in Texas.
Findings of Advanced Energy Jobs in Texas 2016, prepared by BW Research Partnership, include:
  • Advanced energy employed an estimated 143,023 Texans in 2015.
  • Workers engaged in advanced energy make up 1 percent of the state workforce overall.
  • Employers surveyed expect to add an estimated 9,334 new jobs this year, an increase of almost 7 percent, which would bring advanced energy employment to over 152,000.
  • The largest share of advanced energy jobs is in energy efficiency – 51 percent, or about 73,000 workers.
  • At nearly 39,000 workers, employment in Texas advanced electricity generation, makes up 27 percent of the advanced energy workforce.
  • Wind accounts for about 44 percent of these jobs, solar 28 percent, and advanced natural gas 16 percent.
  • Texas is also home to a significant advanced fuels industry, with an estimated 9,500 workers in total, the majority of whom work on corn ethanol.
  • Advanced Transportation employs 19,000 workers (13 percent of total advanced energy employment) who spend some or all of their time on hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and natural gas vehicles.
  • Texas’s advanced energy workforce is predominantly male (78 percent); 43 percent of advanced energy workers in Texas are racial or ethnic minorities, with the share of last year’s hires significantly higher (53 percent).
  • One in 10 advanced energy workers in Texas are Veterans. 
  • Texas has nearly 15,000 companies engaged in advanced energy as part or all of their business activity. Texas advanced energy industry is primarily composed of small businesses. Three-quarters of advanced energy businesses employ 24 permanent employees or less. But Texas has a sizeable share of medium-sized firms as well – 15 percent of advanced energy businesses employ between 25 and 249 workers, indicating the advanced energy economy is mature enough to support larger firms. 
The Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA)