2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report
On March 23, the Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) published the 2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER), the fifth annual in-depth survey of the U.S. labor force and skills trends in five energy sectors across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey found that the U.S. Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors currently employ 6.8 million workers and added 120,300 new jobs in 2019, or over 7% of all newly created jobs nationwide.

The USEER tracks employment trends in five sectors: Fuels; Electric Power Generation; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles. According to the survey, these sectors employed more than 200,000 workers in Tennessee in 2019:
  • Traditional Energy employed 54,953 workers (1.6% of all U.S. Traditional Energy jobs): 12,143 workers in Electric Power Generation; 7,749 workers in Fuels; and 35,061 workers in Transmission, Distribution, and Storage.
  • Energy Efficiency employed 53,916 workers (2.3% of all U.S. Energy Efficiency jobs).
  • Motor Vehicles employed 104,279 workers (4.1% of all U.S. Motor Vehicle jobs).
Additional, key findings from this year’s report include:
  • Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors in 2019 employed approximately 6.8 million Americans, or roughly 4.6% of the total U.S. workforce.
  • Employment in the five analyzed sectors increased in 2019 by 1.8% from the previous year.
  • The solar and wind subsectors saw increases in employment by 2.3% and 3.2%, respectively.
  • Jobs related to alternative fuel vehicles declined by 2% in 2019, with electric vehicle jobs and plug-in hybrid jobs declining by 9.8% and 2.5%, respectively.
Visit to download the 2020 USEER or to explore the report’s findings on a state-by-state basis.
U.S. DOE Seeking Input and Collaboration on Science and Technology Response to COVID-19
U.S. DOE is seeking stakeholder input and collaboration on the country’s COVID-19 response from the country’s research communities, particularly on how to leverage U.S. DOE user facilities, computational resources, and enabling infrastructure to address the current crisis. This solicitation is part of U.S. DOE’s efforts to provide prioritized access, where appropriate, to the full range of U.S. DOE science and technical resources available at national laboratories to support the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please send research questions that the scientific community may address with U.S. DOE resources by email to Responses are being reviewed on an ongoing basis. More information can be found in the Dear Colleague Letter on U.S. DOE’s Coronavirus Resources Hub.
Chattanooga Smart City Research Surpasses $110 Million in Funding
A coalition of Chattanooga government, university, business, and nonprofit agencies have secured $110 million in federal funding to execute the Chattanooga Smart Community Collaborative, which comprises a series of projects focused on applying new, connected, and interactive technologies that can track and positively influence the city’s energy consumption, public and environmental health, and transportation footprint. Many of these projects are enabled by the citywide fiber network that was installed by Chattanooga’s local power company, EPB, in 2009; this network made Chattanooga the first “Gig City” in the Western hemisphere (the first city to roll out a citywide gigabit network) and, within its first four years, added at least 2,800 jobs and spurred more than $865 million in investment into the local economy by cutting power outages, improving data connections, lowering power bills, and attracting businesses to the area. Learn more about the Chattanooga Smart Community Collaborative here.
U.S. DOE Requests Feedback on Potential Funding for Grid-Interactive Buildings
U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) recently released a Request for Information (RFI) on a potential funding opportunity to demonstrate and evaluate the capacity of energy-efficient buildings to interact with one another and the grid in order to provide greater degrees of demand flexibility at scale. A connected community is a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings with diverse, flexible end-use equipment that collectively work to maximize building and grid efficiency without compromising occupant needs and comfort. Connected communities leverage smart technology, distributed energy resources, flexible loads, and grid integration to cost-effectively reduce energy use and peak demand while improving the occupant experience.

This RFI follows a Notice of Intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement on “Connected Communities,” which was released in February. EERE anticipates awarding 4-6 projects at up to $7 million each; the funding opportunity announcement is expected to be released sometime this summer. Responses to the RFI must be submitted electronically to by May 12 at 5:00 PM Eastern. Read and respond to the full RFI here.

TVA Issues RFP for Renewable Energy Resources
TVA recently issued a 2020 Renewable Energy Resources Request for Proposals (2020 Renewables RFP), calling on the world’s top developers to submit proposals for development of up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy that can be brought online by the end of 2023. This RFP is a part of an effort to promote large-scale renewable energy projects that will help diversify and green TVA’s power system portfolio, allowing the power provider to both meet its current customer demands for cleaner energy and to provide economic development opportunities by attracting companies with sustainability goals to the Tennessee Valley. Proposals are due to TVA by April 24, with selected winners to be announced in the fall. Click here to read the full 2020 Renewables RFP.
U.S. DOE Announces $25 Million for Bio-Optimized Technologies to Keep Thermoplastics out of Landfills and the Environment
U.S. DOE’s Offices of Bioenergy Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing announced up to $25 million in funding for bio-optimized technologies that keep thermoplastics out of landfills and the environment. This funding opportunity will support research and development for new plastics that are capable of efficient recyclability as well as for identification of recycling strategies that can break existing plastics into chemical building blocks used to make higher-value products. Concept papers are due April 22, and full applications are due June 18. Click here to learn more. Click here to view the full FOA.
Webinar Mini-Series: Finance + Resilience Initiative
U.S. DOE Better Buildings is hosting a two-part webinar miniseries on finance and resilience. The first webinar, titled, “Building the Financial Business Case for Resilience,” will highlight how commercial building owners can build the financial business case for energy and operations resilience within an organization, identify best practices for measuring financial risk at the asset and portfolio level, and develop strategies for managing insurance costs and business risk. Presenters include representatives from Greenworks Landing, Hannon Armstrong, and Corporate Sustainability Strategies. This webinar will be held April 21. Click here to register.  

The second webinar, titled, “Taking Action to Improve Resilience and Disclose Performance,” will focus on resilience project financing mechanisms, reporting processes that demonstrate resilience performance, and incorporation of resiliency goals and actions into a risk management plan. Presenters include representatives from Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance and Inspection Company, the Urban Land Institute, and Clio Strategies. This webinar will be held April 28. Click here to register.

ACEEE Accepting Abstracts for Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is accepting abstracts for presentation at the Behavior, Energy, & Climate Change Conference (BECC) 2020, which will take place in Washington, D.C. on December 6-9. BECC invites potential applicants to present on the following:
  • Encouraging behavior change for energy and carbon savings;
  • Evaluating such behavior-change programs;
  • Understanding and predicting why individuals and groups change; and
  • Promoting improved climate and energy behaviors in fair and equitable ways.
Presentations may touch on a variety of energy and climate topics, including electrification, utilities, renewables, sustainability programs and strategies, resilience and adaptation, and government policy. Abstracts are due May 8. Click here to submit.
Rescheduled: 2020 Building Science Conference and Expo
The 2020 Building Science Conference and Expo, hosted by TVA EnergyRight, has been rescheduled and will now be hosted from September 21-23 at the Knoxville Convention Center. The conference will provide continuing education training and certification opportunities in addition to sessions on commercial building science, workforce development initiatives, serving hard-to-reach customers, and multifamily housing energy efficiency programs. The event promotes energy efficient home performance through education and the promotion of building science principles. Members of the Home Builders Association of Greater Knoxville may receive a conference registration discount. Click here to register.
Rescheduled: 2020 Tennessee Environmental Conference
The Tennessee Environmental Conference has been rescheduled and will now be hosted at the Meadowview Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport from October 12-14. The conference will feature more than 40 presenters from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors addressing the latest trends, practices, and policies aimed at preserving the state’s natural resources, balancing growth, improving human health, fostering sustainability and innovation, supporting ecotourism, and protecting the environment. TDEC Commissioner David Salyers will deliver the keynote address, and representatives from Drive Electric Tennessee and Tennessee Clean Fuels will provide an update on ongoing efforts to drive electric vehicle adoption in the state.
State and Local Planning for Energy (SLOPE) Platform
U.S. DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have collaborated to develop the State and Local Planning for Energy Platform (SLOPE) tool, which enables data-driven state and local energy planning through the integration of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and, soon, sustainable transportation data and analysis into one accessible platform. Decision makers can use SLOPE to quickly see and understand local, cost-effective options that meet their sustainability and environmental goals.
NASEO Energy Sector COVID-19 Resources
NASEO staff and the NASEO Energy Security Committee are working with State Energy Offices; the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy security, and Emergency Response; and private sector partners to share information and best practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on critical energy infrastructure, the energy sector workforce, and energy supply chains. As part of this effort, NASEO has compiled a consolidated list of verified resources and articles related to COVID-19 and the energy sector’s response. NASEO will continue to provide updates, resources, and forums for communication throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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