Ohio 2nd in Midwest for renewable energy jobs but lags in growth

Ohio supports the second-most renewable energy jobs in the Midwest — such as those tied to wind turbines planned for Champaign County — but has seen slower growth than several of its neighbors, according to a study released earlier this month.

The Clean Jobs Midwest 2017 report was produced by the Clean Energy Trust, an investment group, and Environmental Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit comprised of business groups and investors. The report provided information on what it describes as clean energy jobs in 12 states, including Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.

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It showed Ohio provides more than 105,000 clean energy jobs, behind only Illinois in the Midwest, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also supported more solar energy jobs than any other state, mostly in manufacturing.

But Ohio lagged its neighbors when it comes to how quickly the state has added new clean energy jobs. Clean energy jobs grew about 4.6 percent in Ohio between 2015 and 2016, compared to 5.3 percent in Michigan and 8 percent in Indiana, said Gail Parson, spokeswoman for Environmental Entrepreneurs.

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The bulk of the jobs included in Ohio’s report were tied to energy efficiency, which included positions in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry, as well as fields like advanced building materials and efficient lighting. That accounted for more than 81,000 of the jobs included in the report.

Renewable energy, which included jobs tied to wind and solar for example, was the second-largest sector with about 10,000 jobs.

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“The thing we noted in this year’s report and last year’s report is their growth in renewable energy could be a lot larger, and that’s due to what we think is an uncertain climate in the state,” Parson said. “The renewable…

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