That's a 'Renewable Energy' Job? If You Say So

The statewide news site MLive recently published a column by the owner of a solar panel installation company claiming the state’s renewable energy sector has produced an estimated 82,600 jobs.

Dean Berden, owner of DB Solar in Snover, wrote: “In recent years, Michigan's renewable sector has already seen tremendous growth, with more than an estimated 82,600 jobs in renewable power industries, energy efficiency and other conservation services.”
The column links to a report called, “Powering Up Michigan," and attributes the 82,600 jobs number to a 2010 Bureau of Labor and Statistics report.

ForTheRecord says: That particular Bureau of Labor Statistics report from 2010 has been cited by many defenders and beneficiaries of renewable energy subsidies and mandates. However, its definition of a “renewable energy” job is very different from what the boosters imply.

Among those eligible to be counted as having “green goods and services jobs” were garbage collectors, municipal bus service employees, organic dairy farmers, roofing contractors, electricians and plumbers. The BLS report also classified dismantling cars and selling the parts to a scrap yard as a clean energy job.