The decline of coal and the growth of solar and other renewable energy sources has had a significant impact on the almost 2 million jobs in energy generation. A US Department of Energy report on jobs in electric power generation and fuels shows that 1.1 million jobs (55% of the total) are in traditional fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas). Almost 700,000 jobs are in renewable energy creation, including solar, biomass, wind, and hydro. Solar stands out with almost 375,000 jobs, which is more than natural gas or coal. These solar jobs do not include distributed power generation (e.g., installing solar panels on the roofs of homes and small businesses). The chart below summarizes jobs in energy generation categorized into those fossil fuels and renewables:
The first step in creating this chart was copying data from a table in the US DOE pdf into Microsoft Word. Unlike Excel, Word preserves the pdf table format. I then copied the data I needed for the chart from Word into Excel. I created the groupings for my bars in Excel and used the Excel Mekko Graphics add-in to create the Marimekko chart in PowerPoint.
I did some minor formatting to the Marimekko. I created an Other series and grouped the smaller segments into Other. I sorted each bar so that the biggest segments were on the bottom. I updated the colors for each segment so that the first bar had shades of blue, the second had shades of green and the Other series was grey. I eliminated the axis lines, tick marks and chart border to give the chart a simpler look. Finally, I added a linear X axis scale and showed the bar labels as a data row. If you’re not familiar with charts that have variable width bars, the linear X axis makes them a bit easier to understand.
Here is the chart in SlideShare to download and edit using Mekko Graphics: