New report demonstrates rapid growth of clean energy jobs in Michigan
Kent County home to more than 6,500 clean energy jobs; Michigan ranks 3rd in Midwest
GRAND RAPIDS – Michigan business leaders today highlighted a new clean jobs report demonstrating the state is home to 92,000 clean energy jobs, with more than 6,500 clean energy jobs in Kent County.
“Renewable energy development pumps hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits into Michigan communities, and this new report shows the expansion of renewable energy has created thousands of good jobs in big cities and small towns alike,” said Brad Pnazek, senior development manager for Tradewind Energy. “We’re proud to be part of a rapidly-growing sector of Michigan’s economy that’s creating good jobs throughout the state.”
The new analysis – available at http://www.cleanjobsmidwest.com/state/michigan – shows jobs in the solar and wind energy industries grew by more than 14 percent from 2015-2016, with more than 5,600 solar jobs and 4,600 wind energy jobs in place throughout Michigan. The analysis is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region.
“Michigan is already home to nearly 5,000 wind energy jobs, and this is just the beginning,” said Albert Jongewaard, public affairs manager for Apex Clean Energy. “Our company’s success isn’t only measured in terms of the direct jobs created by wind energy – it’s about supporting people in their livelihoods, empowering local businesses, communities and farmers to grow and hire as a result of renewable energy investment.”
Michigan’s solar industry has also played an essential role in the growth of Michigan’s clean energy sector.
“Michigan’s families, businesses and communities are tapping into solar as an affordable and clean energy source like never before, enabling local companies like ours to put more people in good jobs,” said Ken Zebarah, territory manager for Michigan and Indiana with Harvest Energy Solutions. “As solar energy technology continues to improve, the industry expects to see even faster growth, and expansion of the solar industry means more jobs for Michigan.”
The speakers noted that in addition to the fact that Kent County is home to more than 6,500 clean energy jobs, the City of Grand Rapids’ 100 percent renewable energy goal is helping to put West Michigan on the map for renewable energy development.
“Grand Rapids is a shining example of the investment and jobs that come with a commitment to 100% clean, renewable energy like wind, waste to energy and solar,” said Alison Waske Sutter, sustainability manager for the City of Grand Rapids. “Our clean energy goals will help create good jobs right here in Grand Rapids while promoting cleaner air and amplifying our commitment to sustainability.”