“What are you thankful for?” That’s the age-old question that comes up around this time each year.

For many, they answer with things that perhaps some of us take for granted like a job that pays well, a roof over your head, or the support of your loved ones. So that got the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council thinking, what is Tennessee’s advanced energy industry thankful for? Other than our members, here’s our top five reasons.

#1) Nearly 325,000 jobs are supported by firms in the state’s advanced energy sector

Hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans are employed in advanced energy positions across the state. These employees are earning an average wage of $48,764, which is well above the state average.

#2) Advanced energy production and service activities contribute significantly to our state and local economies

Tax payments from workers in the advanced energy sector help support essential public services like education. Tennessee’s advanced sector contributes $33.4 billion to state gross domestic product while workers in the advanced energy sector pay more than $820 million in sales tax to state and local governments.

#3) Advanced energy represents an opportunity to promote rural economic development

Currently, almost 80 percent of advanced energy activity is centered in just 20 counties in Tennessee. Rural Tennessee could benefit from further growth in advanced energy activity.

#4) Tennessee manufacturers benefit from a robust advanced energy sector

Especially automotive manufacturers that are integrating advanced energy technologies into their processes and products as a result of higher fuel economy standards.

#5) Advanced energy is a rapidly expanding and lucrative growth sector in Tennessee

The presence of a significant advanced energy sector will help attract other firms in the traditional supply chain and foster stronger economic growth through the provision of services to other businesses that can make them more competitive.

As you know rather than favoring specific technologies, advanced energy is technology neutral. Any technology that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure and more efficient is considered advanced energy. It includes users of advanced energy technologies, manufacturers, professional service providers, researchers and entrepreneurs.

The global energy sector is changing rapidly. These changes are rippling through all sectors of the economy in increasingly visible ways, leading to the emergence of the advanced energy economy, a $1.3 trillion global market. Advanced energy is making a positive impact in every corner of the state, and we’re thankful for it’s continuing success through the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and all companies and corporations who strive for sustainability and efficiency.