Renewable energy drives jobs, local economy growth

In the world of U.S. energy developments, the advent of hydraulic fracturing has become the talk of the town. Fracking, as the process is more commonly known, is a horizontal drilling-like operation during which chemically laced water is injected deep into shale rock formation to break open avenues for natural oil and gas extraction. Tight oil derived from fracking operations is expected to drive the United State’s rise to the top of the oil-producing world by 2020.

However, lost in the hype surrounding fracking is the role renewable energy is playing in economic growth and job creation. Energy production – from solar and wind just to name a couple - is driving employment and local economic gains across the country. And as the government and the private sector work to boost domestic green energy, renewable energy recruiters stand ready to help cleantech firms find the most innovative talent.

Wind installations increase employment
Wind has been a hot topic in the discussion on renewables. A fiscal cliff deal tax break that extended a wind production credit saved 37,000 domestic wind jobs, the American Wind Energy Association said.

As it continues to establish itself as a dominant renewable source, wind energy is leading to employment increases, particularly in the Great Plains. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) undertook an empirical review of the connection between wind production and job creation. After analyzing data from nearly 130 counties in 12 Midwestern states between 2000 and 2008, the DOE found for every one megawatt (MW) of wind power capacity, 0.5 jobs are created. Counties included in the study saw a median increase of 0.4 percent in employment per MW 

Cleantech drives metro job growth
A separate series of studies underscoring the importance of clean energy to local employment and economic situations was recently released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). In three state profiles on Colorado, Iowa and Ohio, the EDF found the metro Denver region had 1,500 institutions and 18,000 workers in its cleantech sector in 2011, a 35 percent increase in direct employment from renewable energy since 2006. The series also found Iowa had installed 4,524 MW of wind power capacity by the second quarter 2012, second only to Texas’ 10,648 total MW capacity.

Renewable energy sources are becoming crucial to the development of the economy as a whole, but are particularly important for job creation. Energy is one consumer demand that will likely never wane, and burgeoning cleantech firms can work with renewable energy recruiters to find talent that can make business an industry leader .

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