Thursday, June 11, 2009

U.S. "Clean Energy Economy" Picking Up Speed According to Pew Report

The American clean energy economy grew between 1998 and 2007 about two and a half times faster than overall national job growth according to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

"The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses, and Investments Across America," which was published yesterday, reported that clean energy jobs grew at a rate of 9.1 percent during a period when traditional jobs increased by 3.7 percent.

The outlook for the clean energy economy looks promising, according to the report. “The clean energy economy is poised for explosive growth,” said Lori Grange, interim deputy director of the Pew Center on the States. “These jobs are driving economic growth and environmental sustainability at a time when America needs both. There is a potential competitive advantage for federal and state policy leaders who act now to spur jobs, businesses and investments in the clean energy sector.”

Pew's definition of a clean energy economy is one that "generates jobs, businesses and investments while expanding clean energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, and conserving water and other natural resources.” There are five categories of jobs: (1) energy efficiency, (2) clean energy, (3) "environmentally friendly" production, (4) pollution mitigation and conservation, and (5) support and training.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, said, "This research demonstrates what we've long known – that embracing a clean energy future for Florida will produce a vital new economic sector with new job opportunities across the Sunshine State while protecting our environment and increasing our energy security."

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, said, "The Pew Charitable Trusts report illuminates how the clean energy economy is a strong and important part of New Mexico's and America's economy. The Pew report is a welcome analysis that details the core clean energy economy and the important role that policy plays in driving growth."

An overview of state-by-state performance in the clean energy economy can be accessed here.

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