South Dakota’s green economy and green jobs potential has seen most growth in the areas of renewable energy; although significant numbers of environmental jobs will also be created over the next years. Energy efficiency is an area that has a big potential if the state begins to give energy efficiency a higher priority.
The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report“ found that in 2007 South Dakota reported 169 cleantech businesses that provided a total of 1,636 green jobs. Over the decade 1998-2007 employment in the South Dakota cleantech sector grew by 93.4% compared with a 4.9% growth in overall employment for the state over the same period.
Renewable Energy Jobs in South Dakota
In 2009 South Dakota had 27 renewable energy companies and the state provided 1,135 direct or indirect jobs in its renewable energy sector. . South Dakota is one of a three states (placing second after Washington and ahead of Oregon) that gets more than 60% of their electricity from renewable sources including hydro and biomass; South Dakota gets 65% of its electricity from renewable sources.
The state’s wind power market has experienced significant growth over the past three years. Plans have been announced for over 7 GW of new projects, including the 5 GW Titan II wind farm near Ree Heights.
South Dakota’s wind-related manufacturing base is also growing. While some are companies that have transitioned from other industries, South Dakota has already attracted significant investment in wind-specific facilities. Molded Fiber Glass, one of the leaders in blade manufacturing, opened a $40 million manufacturing facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
South Dakota ranks sixth among all other states for bioethanol production, most of which is derived from corn.
Environmental Jobs in South Dakota
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. The Ceres report estimates that 2,000 new environmental remediation and pollution control related jobs will be created in South Dakota as a result of these environmental standards, mostly in new generation capacity.
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