News from Clean Energy Now
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Michigan Ranks Ninth Nationally for Solar Job Creation
Advocates say stronger renewables policies would produce even more jobs and make state a world leader in clean-energy manufacturing
LANSING - Members of the Clean Energy Now (CEN) coalition are applauding a report that shows Michigan ranks 9th in creating new clean energy jobs related to the solar industry.
The report comes from The Solar Foundation (TSF), which also released its State Solar Jobs Map, a web-based tool providing the first-ever solar jobs number for every state in the country (www.solarstates.org). The report shows that, as of late last year, the U.S. solar industry employed 119,016 Americans. The figure represents a 13.2-percent increase in employment over 2011. During the same time, employment in the overall economy grew only 2.3 percent.
Clean energy advocates are urging policymakers to help accelerate the state’s transition away from power generated by aging, dirty coal plants to energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Wind power and energy efficiency are now cheaper ways to meet demand than building new coal or gas-fired plants.
Meanwhile, solar manufacturing and installation prices are falling sharply, and already are a bargain for utilities on hot days, when they must purchase “peak” power far more expensive than solar to meet ramped-up demand.
The advocates also say efficiency, wind, and solar create good-paying, non-exportable jobs.
"Energy efficiency and clean energy are just the shot in the arm Michigan’s economy needs, and we’re thrilled to have still more statistics proving it," said Jim Dulzo with the Michigan Land Use Institute. "By investing in fuel-free options like efficiency, wind and solar, we can rein in the energy price increases we’re seeing, and expand our state’s clean energy manufacturing base. With good state policies, Michigan would quickly become a global renewables manufacturing powerhouse, while cutting harmful, climate-changing emissions. This win-win protects Michigan’s families, their pocketbooks, and natural resources."
Clean energy advocates are encouraging the public to speak out in support of clean energy, and have the opportunity to do so at Governor Snyder’s final energy forum in Traverse City on April 22nd. For more information, you can go here xx.
About Clean Energy Now: CEN is a coalition of groups that supports policies that will move Michigan beyond coal power toward greater use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency as a way to protect the environment and build prosperity. Follow the campaign at CleanEnergyNowMI.org.