June 19, 2009

Most of us forget the size of South Carolina's renewable job market. The renewable job market is continuing to grow at a fast rate. This is a great reminder of how much South Carolina has accomplished over the last decade. We need to remember South Carolina is not inept in renewable employment, despite the many proposals for dirty employment. So this is wonderful news, confirming that South Carolina has an ability to become more sustainable.

The State
Report says state's growth rate topped nation's between 1998 and 2007
Noelle Phillips
June 12, 2008

South Carolina is growing its clean energy economy faster than the U.S. average, a national study found.

In 2007, the state had 11,255 clean energy jobs and 884 clean energy businesses. It showed a 36.2 percent growth rate during a 10-year period, the Pew Charitable Trusts said in its new report, “The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Business and Investments Across America.”

Nationally, the clean energy economy grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007, the report found.

“South Carolina has a small but fast-growing piece of the nation’s clean energy economy,” said Heyward Bannister, Pew’s South Carolina representative.

The report counted jobs in each state that exist because of environmentally friendly businesses and services. It did not include estimates, multipliers or

In South Carolina, those jobs include companies such as Argand Energy Solutions. The company designs and installs solar-powered electric and hot water systems. It employs 15 people.

And the state keeps recruiting new clean energy companies. Earlier this year, Peregrine Energy Corp. of Greenville announced plans for a $135 million biomass energy plant. It is slated to open in 2012 and would employ 30 full-time workers. The plant will burn byproducts from the logging industry to provide 50 megawatts of electricity for Sonoco’s Hartsville plant.

South Carolina’s clean energy economy grew at an average annual rate of 3.56 percent, the report said. The clean energy sector’s growth rate was 16 times faster than the overall job growth rate, the report said.

Among the report’s other findings:

• South Carolina ranked ninth nationally in the fastest-growing percentage of clean energy jobs.

• South Carolina ranked 24th in the nation in the number of clean energy jobs.

• It ranked 25th in the number of clean energy businesses.

• The state ranked 28th in the number of clean technology patent

• Clean energy jobs made up less than 1 percent of the state’s 2 million jobs.

• South Carolina had not attracted venture capital funding for clean energy jobs.

• South Carolina offers financial incentives to drive the clean energy economy.

• The state does not participate in regional initiatives such as multistate agreements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

• South Carolina does not require electricity providers to provide a minimum percentage of customer power from renewable resources.

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