Clean Energy Industry is Growing South Carolina’s Economy

2016 SC Clean Energy Industry Census Reports $3.8 Billion Annual Gross Revenues in S.C.

February 21, 2017 – Columbia, S.C. - The South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance (SCCEBA) has published its 2016 S.C. Clean Energy Industry Census. The Census concludes that 350 clean energy firms provide more than 18,000 full-time equivalent jobs (FTE) and generate more than $3.8 billion in annual gross revenues for the state of South Carolina.

“The goal of the Census is to quantify clean energy firms working in South Carolina and to measure their impact on our State’s economy,” said Patricia Pierce, SCCEBA Executive Director. “SCCEBA looks forward to sharing the Census results with S.C. decision makers, economic developers, and our clean energy industry partners to further develop programs and policies that will support continued growth in S.C.’s clean energy industry.”

The Census details clean energy industry data as self-reported on employment, revenue, firms and their activities:

  • 350 clean energy firms provide 18,004 full-time equivalent jobs (FTE) and generate more than $3.8 billion in annual gross revenues.
  • Clean Energy annual gross revenue increased 41%--$2.7 billion in 2015 to $3.8 billion in 2016.
  • Clean Energy Firms increased 79%--an estimated 195 clean energy firms worked in S.C. in 2015 and 350 in 2016.
  • Clean Energy Employment increased 110%--8,577 FTEs in 2015 to 18,004 FTEs in 2016.

Building Efficiency (30%) and Solar (18%) represent almost half of all clean energy firms working in South Carolina. Market percentage of other clean energy sectors include: Biomass/Biofuels (13%), Wind (9%), Geothermal (7%), Alternative Fuel Vehicles (7%), Energy Storage (6%), Smart Grid (5%), Fuel Cells (3%), and Hydropower/Marine (3%).

The Building Efficiency sector dominates clean energy employment providing more than half of all clean energy jobs--55% or 9,828 FTES—and generating more than $1 billion in revenue.

Geothermal is the fastest growing revenue sector generating $92 million for S.C.’s clean energy economy up 367% since 2015 and the fastest growing sector adding firms since 2015, from 13 to 35 in 2016, a 169% increase.

SCCEBA partnered with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) in 2016 to conduct the census with support from the Energy Foundation. Information about employment, revenue, and the general business climate was provided directly by firms operating in the industry. Data in the report is presented in aggregate to protect the privacy of responding firms, and it includes a conservative modeling of firms that did not respond but that are anticipated to be active in S.C.

“The Census is a valuable resource for stakeholders,” said Todd Delello, SCCEBA Board Chairman. “It gives us a snapshot of the clean energy industry and illustrates that it is broad based and a major contributor to S.C.’s economy.”

SCCEBA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that is working to build a broad-based business alliance that fosters the development of a clean energy industry in S.C. SCCEBA is a cooperative enterprise for clean energy supply chain development in S.C. For more information, visit