BlueGreen Apollo: Ohio Ready to be America’s Energy Gateway
Posted January 30, 2012 in Press Releases
Report on Green Manufacturing in Ohio Reveals More Investment Necessary to Sustain Growth
The Ohio BlueGreen Apollo Alliance today released a report that provides a roadmap to create thousands of jobs in Ohio, ensuring the state remains competitive in the global marketplace as America’s Energy Gateway. Existing factors identified in a new report, The Ohio Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP), such as Ohio’s 630,000 skilled workers and strong manufacturing infrastructure, make it one of the best states in the nation for clean energy manufacturers to make new investments.
“Successful renewable energy programs and energy efficiency projects over the past few years have proven that there is significant potential for Ohio to meet the growing demands of the clean energy sector,” said Shanelle Smith, Ohio senior coordinator for the BlueGreen Alliance. “This report affirms it and proves that Ohio can’t afford to stand on the sidelines while other states and countries compete to win good jobs in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.”
Although Ohio has already taken steps to spur clean energy investments, the report identifies a menu of options where further incentives are necessary in order to continue growth. Those recommendations include: expanded financing and incentive support, prioritizing support for small- to mid-size clean energy manufacturers; expanding support for research and development; expanding workforce development programs to train employees for these new industries; expanding Ohio’s demand-side clean energy policies; and pushing for improvements in clean energy manufacturing policy at the federal and regional levels.
“As Ohio continues to develop new clean energy sources like wind towers, the Ohio GreenMAP will help us create jobs, becoming a leading supplier and net exporter of those systems as well,” said Wendy Patton, senior project director at Policy Matters Ohio.
Nationally, clean energy job creation has shown to be more resilient than job creation in other sectors of the economy, especially during a recession. While other sectors of the economy have shed jobs over the past few years, the number of jobs created in renewable energy has increased.
“Clean energy manufacturing represents a major family-supporting job creation engine in Ohio, we have the empty factories and skilled workforce to capitalize on this opportunity, now is the time to use the GreenMAP to help put Ohioans back to work in good jobs making the things that America need most,” said Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the North Shore Federation of Labor.
Outside of Ohio, the number of clean energy investments is accelerating. Global investment in green energy passed $1 trillion thanks to a record investment of $260 billion this year.
“Ohio can’t afford to wait while other states and nations retool to manufacture the clean energy technologies in high demand worldwide. This plan provides us with a framework that will spur private investment and create clean energy manufacturing jobs in the state,” said Kimberly Gibson, director of the EWI Energy Center.
A significant number of Ohioans already work in the clean economy. Between 2003 and 2010, Ohio added 16,793 clean jobs, growing this sector of the economy by 2.5 percent annually. Clean energy jobs pay better than the average job in Ohio, paying $39,275 on average, which is over $3,500 more annually.
“Manufacturing for the clean energy sector in Ohio will not only put the unemployed back to work but will also reduce pollution and localize our energy sources, making us healthier and less dependent on foreign oil,” said Ashley Craig, senior environmental business specialist at the Environmental Law and Policy Center.