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:environmental remediation, green building, energy efficiency, geothermal.

Maryland’s Energy Industry Workforce Report (2009) estimated that Maryland’s green economy includes 22,000 business units, directly employing 249,296 people and generating total wages of $14.6 billion dollars. Half of the state’s green economy is related to green building, a sector that includes businesses that design, construct and supply materials for residential and commercial constructions. Energy efficiency accounts for 42% of the State’s green economy. Businesses in energy efficiency weatherize buildings, or provide environmental controls that reduce energy use, or manufacture/sell/install other products that reduce energy use.

For comparison, another report the Green Data for a Growing Green Economy Report prepared for the United States Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration concludes that as of 2010 205,300 green jobs existed in Maryland and that by 2012 this number is expected to grow to 221,800 green jobs. The green economy in 2010 provided 5.7% of the state’s Gross Regional Product (GRP). By 2012 this is expected to rise to 6.0% of the state’s GRP.

The greater Washington metro area ranked in sixth place for cleantech job activity in 2010 according to the Clean Edge, Inc, survey.

In 2008, the State passed the EmPOWER Maryland: Energy Efficiency Act. The Act commits the State to a 15 percent reduction in per capita electricity consumption by the end of 2015. To achieve this goal, the State is promoting renewable and alternative energy production, and energy effi ciency programs. Maryland is also proposing smart grid improvements. The RPS requires that a portion of all retail electricity sales in Maryland come from renewable resources.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy would create 8,000 new direct and indirect jobs (both trade and professional green jobs) by 2015. Slowly the state is weaning itself off of its dependence on coal and nuclear power for its electric energy needs, but it has a long way to go if it is going to meet its renewable energy goals. An indication of the potential for Maryland to drive green employment is given by a 2006 study for the Baltimore Development Corporation that found that State investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy would create 144,000 jobs over the next twenty years. One indication that the green economy may be taking off in Maryland is the reported (Pew Center of The States Clean Economy Report) $324 million of cleantech venture capital invested in the state between 2006-2008.

Green Building and Energy Efficiency Jobs in Maryland

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (which covers the greater Washington metro area) green building policy is encapsulated in three policy frameworks: All new commercial and public buildings to be LEED® Silver or equivalent by 2020. This will help the region achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions — and hence also energy usage — to 20% below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

Green building is becoming a major construction trend in the greater Washington metro region. In fact, since 2007, the number of LEED certified green buildings constructed in the region has grown substantially. Combining this trend with government incentives, policy, and regulations requiring LEED certification, green building practices are quickly becoming common design and construction practices in our region. This is borne out by examining the acceleration of LEED registered building projects that further suggests more LEED certified green buildings are in the pipeline.

Between 2003 and 2009, there were 40 LEED-certified projects in Maryland. Much of Maryland is part of the greater Washington DC metro area which is among the most active areas for green building in the country. Through 2009, 171 projects totaling 22.9 million square feet achieved LEED certification in the National Capital Region, of which Southern Maryland is a part. 3.8 million square feet of LEED certified projects were added in Maryland during this period.

Environmental Jobs in Maryland

Environmental Quality and Remediation includes the prevention and reduction of environmental pollution, as well as restoration of the environment. The Maryland’s Energy Industry Workforce Report found that as of 2009 the state employed 2,760 environmental scientists and specialists; 2,210 natural sciences managers; and a total of 5,860 people in this sector, which includes jobs titles such as fish & game wardens, forest conservation workers, hydrologists, wildlife biologists in addition to environmental scientists and natural sciences managers.

Geothermal Energy Jobs in Maryland

One other area that is expected to grow in this state is in the number of jobs in manufacturing operations required to support the construction of geothermal power plants, such as suppliers of power and cooling systems components. Even though Maryland itself has few naturally occurring geothermal resources in the state, it is an important manufacturing center for the type of equipment and components that geothermal plants need and as this sector expands, mostly in the Western regions of the country. Maryland (amongst other states) is expected to see an uptick in the number of manufacturing jobs for cooling and power systems components.

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