Frequently Asked Questions
What is the map?
The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map is a comprehensive, dynamic tool that shows the economic impact of clean energy growth across the country. The map is a non-partisan, free-to-use public resource that captures investments and jobs in the U.S. wind and solar and jobs in the energy efficiency industries.
What is the map’s purpose?
The map presents users with data from established industry sources and examines the economic contribution of clean energy from the national level down to the state voting district. Equipped with economic data, map users, including citizens, advocates and policymakers, can understand how investments in clean energy impact the local, state and national economy and make informed decisions about energy policies.
Localizing data is important for demonstrating the benefits on a street-level basis and enabling the comparison of benefits by political jurisdiction. The national and state top-line numbers are very important for overall impact, and will be incorporated into the map once they can be localized. What makes this map unique is its goal of making transparent the direct community benefits for map users by showing what clean energy is doing for them, where they live.
Why is the map important now?
State and federal policymakers are facing legislative decisions that could impact the competitiveness of clean energy significantly, so it’s essential to provide impartial facts to citizens and politicians as they weigh policy options. On a global scale, advancing clean energy industries is becoming the standard. U.S. corporations and national governments around the world are taking significant steps to reduce their environmental impact because clean energy makes economic sense.
Who created the map?
Kevala, Inc., a San Francisco-based software analytics company, developed the map. Kevala provides data-driven insights for the evolving energy market by combining proprietary analytics with advanced grid mapping. Kevala’s goal is to accelerate a clean energy future by making energy related data meaningful, transparent and broadly accessible.
Why is Kevala qualified to create such a map?
Kevala specializes in aggregating data from a diverse range of sources, developing proprietary analytics on top of its datasets, and regularly refreshing those datasets. In 2016, Kevala raised $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative to help scale its Grid Assessor platform, a mapping and grid analytics software that helps solar energy system developers identify the best project locations based on demand and grid value.
Is this map associated with any governing agencies or bodies?
The map has no official association with any government body. Kevala developed the map and will continue to update its data. As a free public resource, the map is available for any citizen or organization to use.
Who owns the map?
Kevala built and will maintain the map with updated data, but cleanenergyprogress.com is a free public resource that anyone can view and use.
How are “Partners” associated with the map?
Partners are part of a voluntary, joint effort to promote the U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map as a valuable resource. Organizations promoting and using the map have a common goal to advocate for clean energy growth, as we understand that policy incentives and investments in clean energy are creating millions of jobs in various industries across many areas of the United States.
Is this the first map of its kind, or are their other similar maps?
To date, there is no other resource that compiles economic data on the wind, solar and energy efficiency industries across the United States in an interactive and accessible format. However, other public resources can be used in conjunction with the U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map when evaluating the energy sector. For example, this interactive map focuses on clean energy job creation in the Midwest specifically.
What is the value of solar, wind and energy efficiency investment in the U.S.?
The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map estimates investment of $227 billion in solar and wind energy in the United States, with solar accounting for roughly $65 billion and wind accounting for roughly $162 billion.
*The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map does not present energy efficiency investment because of a lack of consistent and comprehensive data for energy efficiency projects and investment estimates.
How many American jobs does the solar, wind and energy efficiency industries provide?
The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map shows approximately 2.2 million jobs in the solar, wind, and energy efficiency sectors nationwide. Wind accounted for nearly 105,000 jobs, solar accounted for more than 260,000 jobs, and energy efficiency accounted for nearly 1.9 million jobs across the United States.
Why do other credible sources show different national figures?
The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map utilizes national data developed using conservative methods and disaggregated at the electoral jurisdiction level. Other credible sources do not provide data at the level of spatial detail needed for presentation on the map. Because the map uses conservative, disaggregated data with some time lag, it is reasonable to conclude that actual national totals may be higher than represented based on other studies. For example, the 2017 study by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates 2.2 million energy efficiency jobs, compared to the estimated 1.9 million jobs in energy efficiency from the U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map (which sources their data from E2 and E4 the Future; see cleanenergyprogress.com/methodology for details).
The data sources from the U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map and the U.S. DOE reports differ and present a trade-off: the map utilizes older data that provides the geospatial information necessary to provide this hyper-local information, whereas the more recent U.S. DOE data cannot be mapped out at a sub-state level of detail. Kevala plans to help other researchers understand the spatial detail needed so future studies can be geographically located on the U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map.
How often will the map’s data be updated?
The U.S. Clean Energy Progress Map will be updated semiannually, though investment, job and census data sources are updated annually. Some data sources have time lags. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) data reported in 2017 covers information through 2016, and Environmental Entrepreneurs and E4 the Future data reported in 2016 covers information through 2015.
Who can access the map?
How do you use the map?
Users can access the map by visiting cleanenergyprogress.com. The landing page features a U.S. map of clean energy projects, and users can search specific geographic areas such as states or congressional districts by clicking on a state. When the user chooses a geographic area, they’re provided with clean energy jobs data as well as detailed information about solar and wind projects, including count, investment, capacity and production. For more information, see cleanenergyprogress.com/instructions.
Can users export and share data from the map?
Site visitors may use their browser print function to print or save images of the map, and they may take screen shots. These images may be shared electronically with others. The underlying data are not available for export.
Which geographic areas are represented on the map?
The map examines and compares the economic progress of clean energy on a state, county and legislative district level across the United States. The map’s geographic granularity helps users understand the total impact of clean energy investments, jobs and projects in their local communities and home states and districts.
How should information that’s pulled from the map be cited?
Which data sources does the map use?
The map consolidates highly credible data from both government and industry sources on clean energy investments, jobs and projects. The map’s data sources and methodology are publicly documented on cleanenergyprogress.com, and information is updated semiannually to ensure users can evaluate the most current information. Sources include:
- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
- U.S. Geologic Service
- Solar Energy Industries Association
- National Renewable Energy Lab
- GreenTech Media
- Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
- Environmental Entrepreneurs and E4TheFuture
- American Wind Energy Association
- The Solar Foundation
In addition to building the map and managing myriad data sources, Kevala used proprietary visual mapping methods to augment the distributed solar projects dataset.
What is the methodology for collecting data?
The map uses the best available information on the location, timing and size of wind and solar energy projects to estimate the dollar value of investments in projects, and the generation of both electricity and jobs, on an annual basis. For in-depth methodology that describes the data and calculations used to create the map, visit the methodology page.
How spatially precise are the map’s data?
The table below shows the level of detail mapped by each technology type: wind, solar or energy efficiency. Solar and wind projects are visualized as chloropleths. Energy efficiency projects are not shown because they are not known. The * for Projects is a reminder that actual projects are not mapped, rather the chloropleths use a color scale to indicate the level of project development activity compared to neighboring areas. Methods used to developed estimates of project counts are described in more detail at cleanenergyprogress.com/methodology.
√ = available at cleanenergyprogress.com; X = not available
Why does the map use economic as opposed to environmental data?
The primary purpose of this map is to illustrate the economic benefits of clean energy growth, as the advantages of clean energy reach beyond protecting the environment. Investments in the U.S. clean energy sector are creating millions of jobs and supporting local communities across the country.
Why are only wind, solar and energy efficiency represented on the map?
Wind, solar and energy efficiency were chosen for the initial launch of the map because of the availability of public data, their significant economic growth and the important function each industry plays in the economy. The map provides a framework to enable inclusion of additional technologies in future iterations, as more data becomes available.
Does the map compare the economics of clean energy to other energy industries like coal or oil and gas?
While the map does not present fossil fuel data, cleanenergyprogress.com can be used in conjunction with other data sources to make economic comparisons across energy sectors. For example, a recent report shows the coal industry now employs 160,000 workers, less than one quarter as many Americans as the renewable energy industry.
Does the map take government subsidies or tax credits into account?
Investment calculations are based on national averages by year for the installed cost of each project. Subsidies and tax credits are not separately calculated or estimated.
Will new data sets or functionalities be added to the map?
The map is a dynamic, living resource. Along with semi-annually updating the map data, it could be expanded to include additional data and analysis.
If you have additional questions, please contact us.