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Report: ND a Standout in Clean-Energy Job Creation

New numbers show North Dakota has the highest percentage of clean-energy jobs per capita in the Midwest. (iStockphoto)
New numbers show North Dakota has the highest percentage of clean-energy jobs per capita in the Midwest. (iStockphoto)
March 28, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakota is one of the top states in the Midwest for jobs in the clean-energy field, according to a new report. The Clean Jobs Midwest survey shows North Dakota has the highest percentage of clean-energy jobs, per capita, out of 12 Midwestern states, at just under 12,000.

But that number happens to be the second-lowest overall in the region, so there's room for improvement.

Gail Parson, Midwest advocate for Environmental Entrepreneurs, says the state is also home to the highest portion of renewable-energy generation jobs.

"They also, I think, were second in the region for clean fuel," says Parsons. "North Dakota is doing some things right. They could make further use of their resources by considering better state policies, both on renewable energy and energy efficiency."

The report's authors suggest that North Dakota could implement what's known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard, which would require power companies to produce a portion of their electricity from renewable-energy sources.

More broadly, the research also shows clean energy is one of the fastest-growing industries, with an estimated 25,000 new jobs expected to be added over the next year.

Parson says the Midwest has become a powerhouse for clean-energy careers.

"Many people may think of corn, our farms but the Midwest should be known for clean energy," she says. "Contributing over half a million workers, certainly not fly-over country when it comes to the clean energy field."

However, according to the survey, half of North Dakota's clean-energy businesses say they're having a tough time finding qualified workers.

Parson says state investments in training in these job fields could help fill that gap.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - ND