More than 62,000 Coloradans are employed by advanced energy operations, a number expected to grow in 2018.

Advanced Energy Economy, a US national advanced energy advocacy group of business leaders, released findings earlier this month that 62,800 Coloradans work in advanced energy, which includes hybrid vehicles, natural gas-fueled trucks, high-capacity wind turbines, solar installations, hydro and nuclear power and energy storage. Across the US, about 3.4 million people work in advanced energy, according to the report.

In 2018, advanced energy is expected to generate more than 5,000 additional jobs in Colorado and about 238,000 additional jobs nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Advanced Energy and BW Research’s analysis of the 2018 US Energy and Employment Report.

JR Tolbert, vice president for state policy at Advanced Energy, said the report demonstrates the significant role advanced energy plays in Colorado’s economy.

"The next governor has an opportunity to further expand this market and create even more jobs to keep our economy humming, while producing secure, clean affordable energy for Colorado,” Tolbert said in a news release.

The 2018 US Energy and Employment Report says advanced energy electric power generation and fuels generated 800,000 jobs in 2017 — compared to 1.1 million employees in traditional coal, oil and gas electric power generation and fuels in the same year. Compiled by the Energy Futures Initiative and the National Association of State Energy Officials, the report says jobs in oil and natural gas extraction and coal mining each increased slightly, with oil jobs growing by 1.5 percent. The fastest growing new sources of electric power generation and fuels were bioenergy and combined heat and power generation, growing by 55 percent and 51 percent respectively.

The Advanced Energy report shows that energy efficiency employed the most Coloradans in the 2017 advanced energy industry, at 32,000 employees helping homes, offices and industries save energy costs.