The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report“ found that in 2007 Oklahoma reported 693 cleantech businesses that provided a total of 5,465 green jobs. Over the decade 1998-2007 employment in the Oklahoma cleantech sector grew by 6.8% compared with a 2.4% growth in overall employment for the state over the same period. Over the two year period (2006-2008) Oklahoma saw around $5 million of venture capital invested in its cleantech sector.
Oklahoma recently passed a voluntary 15% renewable energy standard to be achieved by 2015, which aims to create jobs and decrease dependence on carbon-intensive fuel sources.
Renewable Energy Jobs in Oklahoma
In 2009 Oklahoma had 29 renewable energy companies, and the state had 1,466 people directly or indirectly employed in its renewable energy sector.
Oklahoma is ranked 8th in the nation in installed wind power capacity, with 300 MW installed in 2009 alone. Japanese trading company ITOCHU and GE Energy Financial
Services are jointly investing in a $319 million wind farm currently under construction in Woodward, as part of a partnership deal between the two companies to co-invest in renewable energy worldwide.
In addition the state is already home to two major wind energy manufacturing facilities. DMI Industries, a major wind turbine tower manufacturer, opened a facility in Tulsa in 2007. Bergey, one of the foremost small wind turbine manufacturers, has its facility in Norman. In June 2010, Eagle Claw Fabrication announced a new wind tower manufacturing facility in Muskogee. In 2010 there were an estimated 1,000-2,000 wind supported jobs in the state.
Oklahoma has 3 biodiesel facilities and 1 ethanol facility in the state, which includes a 35.3 mGy biodiesel plant in Oklahoma that uses vegetable oils and animal fat to produce biodiesel.
Environmental Jobs in Oklahoma
A new Ceres report finds that implementing two new air pollution rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will create 1.5 million jobs over the next five years. The power sector will invest almost $200 billion total in capital improvements over the next five years. Among the states that will see the big job gains from this construction activity are Oklahoma. The Ceres report estimates that 42,000 new environmental remediation and pollution control related jobs will be created in Oklahoma as a result of these environmental standards.