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Thousands Of New Clean Energy Jobs Created

A report issued this week shows more than 110 thousand clean energy jobs were generated in the US last year. Michelle Kanu of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.

The report from Environmental Entrepreneurs—or E2—shows that Ohio companies contributed nearly 800 new jobs in the clean energy sector.  That includes everything from erecting solar panels, operating wind turbines, and helping people reduce their energy use.

While 800 is only a sliver of the country’s new clean energy jobs, Bob Keefe, a spokesperson with E2, says their data is largely anecdotal.

Keefe: “We scour announcements of new jobs that are related to clean energy or clean transportation.  It’s from company press releases announcing new projects and how many jobs they’re hiring and they’re from lawmakers offices that go to the ribbon cuttings that open these plants.”

Bill Spratley is the executive director of Green Energy Ohio, a non-profit that promotes renewable energy.  Spratley says his group held a solar energy conference in Cleveland five years ago, and since then, he’s seen Ohio manufacturers step up.

Spratley: “We have machine shops all over the state that are making parts that go into wind turbines.  We have solar factories up in the Toledo area.  There’s a whole supply chain.”

Spratley says all of those companies may not be reflected in E2’s figures.

Plus, E2’s clean energy report does not include companies in the natural gas industry that has blossomed in Ohio over the past year.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.