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: biomass, wind, energy efficiency.

The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report“ found that in 2007 Vermont reported 311 cleantech businesses that provided a total of 2,161 green jobs. Over the decade 1998-2007 employment in the Vermont cleantech sector grew by 15.3% compared with a 7.4% growth in overall employment for the state over the same period. Over the two year period (2006-2008) Vermont saw around $54 million of venture capital invested in its cleantech sector.

Vermont was listed, at tenth place, among the top 10 states in Clean Edge’s second annual U.S. Clean Energy Leadership Index, which is an analysis and ranking of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum, based on analysis and ranking of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum.

There are 588 certified organic farms/producers in Vermont and sustainable agriculture and forestry are increasingly important components of this largely rural states economy.

Renewable Energy Jobs in Vermont

In 2009 there were 23 renewable energy companies in Vermont and 414 people were either directly or indirectly employed in renewable energy in the state.

Vermont is a leader in the research, development, and commercialization of wood energy. The McNeil Generating Station was the world’s largest wood-burning facility at the time of its construction in 1984 and has become a laboratory for the vast majority of biomass plants that have followed. In 2010, there were 24 fuel dealers/suppliers carrying biodiesel or bioheat in Vermont. Researchers are pursuing algae and perennial grass research and development in the state.

Vermont has 2 biomass plants. A typical 30 MW biopower plant employs about 120 workers (in plant and outside).

Over 140 MW of new utility-scale wind projects have been announced, although some have met with public opposition.

Green Building and Energy Efficiency Jobs in Vermont

In spite of a general weakness in new construction due to the global recession, one building-related field has continued to grow: retrofits tied to improving the efficiency of facilities. Investments in energy efficiency by government and the business sector is starting to skyrocket which mean there will be many more jobs in the energy efficiency sector over the next few years. Smart Grid & Energy Efficiency ranked three out of the top five sectors for Clean-Tech Job Activity (U.S.) in the 2010 CleanEdge Job Study. States and municipalities that use energy efficiency and renewable energy as an economic development strategy have added thousands of jobs to their economies over the past few years.

Vermont ranked in fifth place nationwide, up from sixth place in the ranking of the top states in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 2010 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. This is a good indication that Vermont should expect to see a continuation of energy efficiency job growth over the next few years.

Vermont is home to a growing number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings. LEED certified buildings adhere to stringent green design principles, as certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2003, ECHO at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain became the first building in Vermont to be awarded this certification. Since that time, several other large-scale building projects in Vermont have followed-suit.

The Vermont Smart Grid meters are just about ready to be rolled out, in part funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early 2009. Vermont will lead the nation by completing deployment of the first state-wide smart meter program by 2013.
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