North Carolina’s green energy companies added 3,159 jobs last year and took in $7 billion in revenue, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association reported Monday.
The industry now employs more than 26,000 people in full-time jobs, the association said in its annual census.
About half work in energy efficiency, followed by 21 percent in the state’s fast-growing solar industry. Manufacturing and production jobs jumped 9 percent compared to 2014 and wind industry employment 8 percent.
Total revenue was up 45 percent from 2014, with the energy efficiency and solar sectors taking the largest shares at $2.3 billion and $1.8 billion respectively.
North Carolina’s 2007 green-energy mandate, the first in the Southeast, created markets by forcing utilities to increase the share of renewable energy in their portfolios. Legislators may move this year to freeze the mandate short of its 2021 targets.
State legislators last year allowed to expire the 35 percent tax credits that also boosted the industry.
North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation for installed solar capacity. The state’s first major wind farm is under construction in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties on the state’s coastal plain.