Study finds faster job growth in clean-energy fields

Jobs are growing faster in clean-energy industries than in the economy as a whole, according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

In Minnesota, the report says, clean-energy jobs grew by 11.9 percent from 1998-2007, faster than overall job growth.

The report counts such jobs as installing solar panels, manufacturing efficient light fixtures and biofuels, and recycling.

Authors of the report say clean-energy job growth is better in states that have standards and incentives for renewable energy and efficiency, and in states that are part of regional initiatives to reduce global warming. Minnesota qualifies on all three counts.

The report says Minnesota attracted nearly $50 million in clean energy investments over the last three years, of which more than a third went to companies in fields related to energy efficiency. Minnesota ranks fourth among states in wind energy production, largely driven by state mandates.

According to the report, nearly 20,000 jobs in Minnesota are part of the clean-energy economy. More than 1,200 businesses are part of the sector, and state companies have 218 patents in the sector.

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