by Chris de Morsella, Green Economy Post Chris is the co-editor of The Green Executive Recruiter Directory. Follow Chris on Twitter @greeneconpost

Major Green Industries with a significant presence in the state are: wind, ocean energy, energy efficiency.

According to Hawaii’s Green Workforce: A Baseline Assessment, published in 2010 there are 11,145 green jobs in the private sector, which accounts for 2.4% of total private employment. Businesses report an average of 3.5 green practices per work site, with the largest numbers found in Maui and Kauai counties.

It goes on to report that Hawaii businesses anticipate solid growth of green jobs to the year 2012. Survey data show that employment in green-related occupations is expected to grow from 11,145 in 2010 to 14,048 in 2012, an increase of 26% over two years. Such growth considerably exceeds the 1.0% increase projected for statewide employment during the same period. Furthermore, green jobs are expected to grow from a 2.4% share of total state employment in 2009 to 2.9% by 2012. This accelerating trend is consistent with findings from a preliminary assessment of Hawaii ’s green workforce showing an increase in green jobs between 1998 and 2007.

More than half of projected green jobs are found in two core green areas, Pollution Reduction and Energy Efficiency. Most of the projected increase in green employment, however, is associated with the generation of clean energy. The Generate Clean, Renewable, Sustainable Energy core area is expected to experience an increase of 1,119 new jobs or 88% between 2010 and 2012.

The Pew Center of The States Clean Economy Report found that in 2007 Hawaii had 356 cleantech businesses and that the state had 2,732 green jobs. Its green sector grew 43.6% for the decade of 1998-2007 compared with 7.3% for the overall economy. Between 2006 and 2008 the state saw nearly $12 million of venture capital invested in its cleantech economy.

Renewable Energy Job in Hawaii

In 2009 the state had 28 renewable energy companies and provided 2,016 direct and indirect jobs in renewable energy.

Hawaii is in the planning stages of an undersea, inter-island cable project to transmit wind energy generated on Molokai and Lanai to be used on Oahu, where demand is greatest. Hawaii has been the site for almost all of the major U.S. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) experiments, and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) has been recognized as the world’s foremost laboratory and\ test facility for OTEC and OTEC-related research. Plans for a 1 MW OTEC facility at NELHA have been announced. Hawaii is a national leader in solar water heating, and is responsible for one-third of all the nation’s systems installed in 2008. In mid-2010, a Hawaiian company was awarded a $117 million federal loan guarantee for the construction of a 30 MW wind power plant with an integrated 10 MW battery storage system, one of the first projects of its kind.

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