California’s Governor is expected soon to appoint a “clean energy jobs” czar to his cabinet, according to officials in Jerry Brown’s economic development office.

Mather Kearney, deputy director at the governor’s Office of Economic Development, said that Governor Brown’s shortlist had been narrowed to three candidates but that the scope of the role had been widened beyond clean energy alone to encompass the broader unemployment crisis.

“They have been interviewing for a jobs czar and we don’t know the structure we would imagine that it would be a cabinet level appointment and our office would report directly to the jobs czar,” he said. “As for a green jobs czar, it’s not necessarily focused [exclusively] on green energy now.”

Brown announced the position last June as part of his Clean Energy Jobs campaign pledge which would see 12 GW of distributed generation installed in California. But Brown has been preoccupied with passing the Fiscal Year 2012 budget as part of tackling the state’s $26 billion deficit. He is now said to be turning his attention to his commitment to renewables and a high-level meeting is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles in the next two weeks to discuss the state’s clean energy strategy.

“The Governor since he took office has been focused on getting a passed budget, which he did a couple of weeks ago. So that has been the focus of the administration,” Mather told the Intersolar conference in San Francisco this week.

“It’s been shifted to the governor’s top priority now that the budget is done and we’re hoping that they will give us the direction we would like.”

Rhonda Mills, Southern California program director, from the Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies, said that the governor’s 12 GW target could create up to 125,000 jobs, and 5,200 jobs per month over 20 years.

“The governor’s idea that clean energy creates jobs has real merit,” she said.

Photo Caption: Job seekers wait in line to have their resumes reviewed during the San Francisco Hirevent job fair at the Hotel Whitmore on July 12, 2011 in San Francisco, California. As the national unemployment rate stands at 9.2 percent, several hundred job seekers turned out to meet with recruiters at the San Francisco Hirevent job fair where nearly 250 jobs were available.