USA - Can wind energy give a boost to employment?

Report says yes

Report says Wisconsin could produce jobs in renewable energy field. Wisconsin ranks eighth in the nation in terms of potential job gains that could be linked to an expansion of renewable energy, a report released Tuesday says. The report surveyed sectors of the economy that could be tapped for expansion as development of renewable energy - whether wind, solar, geothermal or biomass - expands. The Wisconsin Apollo Alliance and the Renewable Energy Policy Product report said the state ranks fourth in the nation for potential jobs to be gained in wind energy manufacturing. "Because of its traditional manufacturing base, Wisconsin is poised to gain 14,061 jobs at existing manufacturing facilities," the report says. "Across the state, over 1,300 Wisconsin firms now manufacture products similar to those used in renewable energy systems."

A proposal before the state Legislature would require the state's electricity supply to come from renewable power by 2015, and members of the Apollo Alliance said the report shows how passing that legislation could help job creation. The Apollo Alliance is a project of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. It's designed to end reliance on imported oil by boosting homegrown and renewable sources of energy. The alliance is backed by labor unions and environmental groups. "Our dependence on foreign oil, high energy prices and the threat of climate change requires we innovate new, clean energy technology," said Kerry Schumann, executive director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. "Wisconsin can lead this development today."

The alliance is also recommending an economic development strategy that encourages manufacturers to launch production of renewable energy components through the use of industrial development bonds, manufacturing conversion tax credits and low-interest loans. "Building new alternative energy technologies requires the skills Wisconsin workers have gained as one of the nation's leading manufacturing states," said Phil Neuenfeldt, secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO and a member of the Apollo Alliance's Wisconsin steering committee, in a statement
Online editorial www.windfair.net
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
USA, Wind energy, wind power, renewable energy, wind farm, wind turbine, onshore, offshore, rotorblade, windmill

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