When it comes to the energy industry in the Denver Metropolitan Area, balanced is the best description. The nine-county Metro Denver region ranked 5th in the country for fossil fuels energy employment and fourth among the 50 top metro areas nationally for cleantech employment. Overall, the energy industry employs roughly 55,000 Denver area residents. If the industry is trending in one direction, it would be towards renewable and cleantech operations thanks to it’s exceptionally well-educated population with a high percentage of science and engineering degrees. Proximity to the Colorado School of Mines, one of the few schools to offer specific energy degrees from bachelors to PhD doesn’t hurt. Nor does the fact that the U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab and the Solar Technology Acceleration Center test facility both call the Denver area home.