Job Impacts of California’s Existing and Proposed Renewables Portfolio Standard

Betony Jones, Peter Philipsand Carol Zabin

Press Coverage


This brief estimates the jobs created from California’s renewable energy investments from 2003 through 2014, and forecasts job creation from continued development of renewable energy in California between 2015 and 2030 to meet a 50% renewables portfolio standard (RPS).

Main Findings

  • Between 2003-2014, about 52,000 direct jobs were created due to the construction of renewable energy facilities, measured in person job years (one full-time job for one person for one year).  When we include indirect and induced jobs (the multiplier effect), about 130,000 total job years were created.
  • For the period 2015-2030, increasing California’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030 would create about an additional 354,000 to 429,000 direct jobs from the construction of new renewable generation.  Including multipliers for indirect and induced jobs, we forecast a total of 879,000 to 1,067,000 job years by 2030.
  • We estimate that for every megawatt produced out-of-state instead of in-state,  on average 11.5 direct jobs and 28.7 total jobs (including indirect and induced) jobs would be lost (unless exported generation makes up for the loss of jobs due to imported generation).