The clean energy report shows that employment across clean energy businesses increased by almost 500 jobs—or 3.2 percent— between the last quarters of 2020 and 2021. This comes after an unprecedented decline in clean energy jobs of over 2,500 jobs—or 15.5 percent— from 2019 to 2021 due to COVID-19. While clean energy employment is trending upwards, it has not yet bounced back to pre-pandemic levels during 2020-2021. The economic aftermath of COVID19 resulted in the loss of roughly four years of clean energy job growth, sending Rhode Island’s clean energy economy back to 2016 employment levels. As of the last quarter of 2021, there were 14,256 jobs, of which 7,910 are in energy efficiency, 591 in wind, and 1,445 in solar.
The RI Clean Energy Internship Program is a paid 12-week internship program managed by the Office of Energy Resources and RI Commerce. It is designed to help provide internship opportunities in clean energy careers, ranging across marketing, engineering, research, solar, direct construction, energy efficiency and more! Students will be able to professionally develop under the mentorship of an industry partner to combat real world problems in energy and the environment. This workforce development initiative hosts 3 program rounds each year, in summer, fall, and spring. This is not a recruitment opportunity to work at OER, but rather, OER manages this internship portal where students and companies create accounts, upload application documents, and schedule interviews. OER reimburses the host company for the cost of hosting students as interns.
The Fall 2023 round is now in session. The Spring 2024 session is accepting applications from September 18, 2023, through Friday, December 15, 2023.
The Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program is co-managed by the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER). It is a workforce development initiative which focuses on enhancing the talent pipeline for Rhode Island employers engaged in the clean energy industry. The Rhode Island Clean Energy Internship Program facilitates the placement of students and recent graduates who are considering career opportunities in clean energy through paid internships across the state. Consistent with the program staff's roles as catalysts in growing the talent needed by the clean energy industry, the Internship Program is designed to provide students and employers with the tools to connect, and eligible employers will be reimbursed for intern stipends.
The objectives of the Clean Energy Internship Program are to: