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Green job growth

A new report from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority shows that clean energy can help the economy as well as the environment.

According to the 2017 New York Clean Energy Industry Report, clean energy jobs increased at a rate of 3.4 percent in New York in 2016. That’s twice the job growth rate of all industries statewide.

“New York is proving that leading in the fight on climate change is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an entirely new home-grown industry,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton. “Clean energy companies throughout New York are creating thousands of jobs and growing our economy faster than ever before.”

The report was particularly promising for the Finger Lakes, which was second to Long Island in terms of green jobs per capita at 16.2 per 1,000 workers.

The report noted that the rate of growth was expected to climb even more—to 7 percent—in 2017.

Energy-efficiency jobs make up the majority of clean-energy jobs in the state (75 percent), followed by creation of renewable energy sources (15 percent). But the report concluded that the biggest areas for potential growth are research, innovation and new technology. The report also noted opportunities in alternative transportation and modernizing the power grid.

Rochester—with its high-caliber colleges and universities, innovative spirit and base of high-tech companies—should be poised to capitalize on the potential for clean-energy jobs.

The shift to clean energy is going to be a bad thing for certain industries, without question. But there is no reason to think that it will be bad for the economy as a whole. It is good to see that New York State is taking advantage of the economic opportunities clean energy presents, rather than shying away as some other states are doing.

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