The Clean Energy Economy Is Growing Up, But Lacking A Clear Plan

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The cleantech economy is outpacing the economy at large, but it needs a cohesive plan to maintain that growth according to a report released today.

“[D]espite a lack of sustained policy attention and investment, the emerging clean energy economy has grown considerably,” the Pew Charitable Trusts said in its Clean Energy Economy report, released today.

Between 1998 and 2007, the number of clean energy jobs grew by 9.1 per cent, compared to only 3.7 per cent for all jobs, the report says.  Experts expect growth for clean energy jobs declined in 2008, but at a rate “less severe” than overall U.S. job loss.

For the purposes of their report, the clean economy includes the “categories” of clean energy, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly production, conservation and pollution mitigation and training and support.

The clean energy economy has a lot of government money heading its way, but it remains to be seen what specific plans the government has for effectively spending it.

Each state will get a piece of the $85 billion allocated in the stimulus bill for cleantech including $30 billion for spending on clean energy programs and $21 billion in incentives for wind, solar and other renewable energy manufacturers. But, the report concludes, this “extraordinary” investment will only pay off if the country develops a “comprehensive, economy-wide energy plan.” 

Clean Energy Economy Report

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