By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Building and installing wind generators and solar panels, replacing inefficient windows and lighting and insulating homes are among the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The nonprofit group on Wednesday released the results from a national study that shows U.S. “clean-energy jobs’’ grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, much faster than the overall national job growth of 3.7 percent.
The study found that in 2007 there were 770,000 jobs at more than 68,200 businesses across the U.S. under the definition of clean energy. That compares to about 1.27 million people working in fossil fuel-related businesses such as coal mining and oil refining.
In Minnesota, the study found that clean-energy jobs grew 11.9 percent between 1998 and 2007, six times faster than the state’s overall job growth of 1.9 percent.
The report said green-energy job growth certainly slowed with the overall economy in 2008, for which employment statistics aren’t yet available, but probably kept its lead over other sectors.
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