Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council: The Wisconsin New Tech Jobs 2012 Report

The WI Sustainable Business Council, in conjunction with Cool Choices announce the release of the 2012 New Tech Jobs Report. The report is available online at: http://ww.bus.wisc.edu/business-sustainability/council/greenjobs/

“The new technology economy will play a critical role in creating jobs in Wisconsin,” said Tom Eggert, Executive Director, WI Sustainable Business Council. “Jobs in energy efficiency, wind, solar and water technologies draw on our long history as a manufacturing state and take advantage of existing infrastructure and a trained workforce. Supporting the development of new tech jobs will benefit families, local economies, manufacturers and the state economy.”

Key highlights of the report include:

New tech jobs and the new tech economy encompass what have been called “clean tech jobs”, “clean energy jobs”, “green jobs”, “green-collar jobs”, and the “clean economy”. New tech jobs will define the industries of the future; industries such as energy efficiency, green building, smart grid deployment, wind turbine manufacturing, solar panel installation, and bioenergy.

In order to grow new technology jobs, the following must be present:

* a tradition of manufacturing excellence,
* existing infrastructure,
* a workforce with training and experience in manufacturing technology and
* a populace that believes in the importance of manufacturing jobs.

Wisconsin has all of these.

Wisconsin should be focused on developing new technology jobs in the following areas:

* Renewable Energy
* Energy Efficiency
* Water Technologies
* Green Building

Some of the highlights of the report include:

Overall, 500,000 new tech jobs were added to the American economy between 2003 and 2010, at an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent.

26% of the new tech economy is comprised of manufacturing jobs, jobs that draw on the strengths of current Wisconsin businesses.

Wisconsin has an opportunity to lead the nation in the development of biogas as a viable fuel alternative. Currently there are enough corn stalks, wood chips, and switchgrass in Wisconsin to replace 40% of our gasoline and half our coal use while putting $14 billion back into the state economy.

Wisconsin already has more anaerobic biodigesters than any state, with 22 on-farm and 31 total systems.

Wisconsin currently has more than 12,000 people employed in supplying the solar or wind sector.

In Wisconsin over 300 companies either produce, sell or install wind power components, with 40 new companies identified in last year alone.

135 Wisconsin companies are part of the solar photovoltaic industry.

America now generates more kilowatt hours of renewable energy than any country in the world.

Solar and wind are increasingly cost-competitive with conventional generating capacity.

More solar and wind generating capacity was installed last year than conventional generating capacity.

Renewable energies are a hedge against uncertainty in the price of fossil fuels.

Renewable technologies will require access to capital to support private investment. Particularly given recent stresses in financial markets, the government role in ensuring both access to capital and a fair market could result in a more diverse mix of energy resources in Wisconsin.