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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wisconsin's clean economy: "Small and losing"

From a post on Tom Content's blog on JSOnline.com:

Wisconsin's clean-energy economy is smaller than the national average and lost jobs between 1997 and 2007, a new report published Thursday says.

Wisconsin employed more than 15,000 jobs in the clean-energy sector, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. But employment in the clean sector fell 5% during that decade, at a time the state's overall job growth was more than 3%, according to the report.

As a result, the company ranks with Maryland, Utah and West Virginia as states where the clean-energy sector is described as “small and losing.”

Despite that stark description, Wisconsin ranked well in one area, the report found. With 2,801 people employed in the energy efficiency field, Wisconsin employed more people in this area than all but five other states.

The state has attracted $46 million in clean-technology venture capital in the past three years, but even that pales in comparison with other states. Wisconsin ranks behind Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota in raising clean-tech funding -- ranking 24th among all states and the District of Columbia.

The Pew report, “The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America," found there were 68,200 businesses nationwide in the clean-energy sector, accounting for 770,000 jobs.

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