A recent industry survey in Maryland found that the state’s clean energy industry is adding green jobs this year despite the national economy being slow overall. The clean energy industry is apparently doing rather well – in other words, let’s stop trying to policy it to death, guys, and pay attention to how clean tech can create and sustain local jobs.
The survey was conducted by the Maryland Clean Energy Center, which has been online since 2008. The MCEC polled just under 200 businesses registered with the MCEC between May 1 and June 15 (most of which are headquartered in Maryland), and assessed economic impact, the state of the industry, the effects of current clean energy policy, and whether or not there’s an opportunity for competitive electricity suppliers.
It Makes A Difference
Most of the businesses surveyed are currently fairly tiny – less than 25 employees, although there were a number with more than 100 – but nearly all of them are planning to maybe hire more people and definitely not let anyone go. MCEC Executive Director Kathy Magruder applauds the current state of small-business clean tech:
“Maryland’s clean energy industry is a significant bright spot in this state’s economy. Despite the overall national recession, our green economy is strong and growing fast.”
The respondents also agreed with Magruder – most of them felt that Maryland was a great place for clean energy, with the state of the industry being pretty strong, or at least better than other states, and know that they can shop around for the greenest possible electricity supplier.
Pay Attention To The Little Things
Part of the Maryland’s current success with its clean tech is definitely down to the industry in general managing to reach people in the right way; the vast majority of the respondents reported that their primary customers were homeowners and businesses (as opposed to, say, the government, or the military, or an entrepreneur).
Clean tech policy in Maryland, on the other hand, is apparently both super awesome and very frustrating – tax breaks have done great things to help a lot of these currently-small businesses to expand, but the vast majority of respondents weren’t sure about policy at the federal level, the state level, or even the local level, and thought that could be problematic.
Most respondents also wanted more, more, more for the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard, but a funny thing pops up here: most of the respondents hadn’t reached out to their state delegate or senator on the issue. The takeaway there is to do something about it — if Maryland (or any other state) wants clean energy success, you (yes, you) need to go make it happen. So far, so good – let’s make it better.
Questions or comments? Let us know below. For those of you who want to see the specific results, you can get all the graphs and stats by clicking here.