What is Maryland doing to strengthen our “clean energy” economy?
In addition to its environmental focus, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act Plan is designed to produce a variety of benefits related to economic development. The Plan aims to encourage the growth of new industry and accelerate the investment of green technologies in Maryland, as well as invest in the energy, transportation and land use sectors of the state’s economy.
The economic benefits of this plan include:
- Between $2.5 billion and $3.5 billion in total economic benefits and creating or maintaining 26,000 to 33,000 jobs by 2020
- Generating low-impact development, or high-density housing near stores and jobs that reduces sprawl and emissions by lowering the amount of miles vehicles need to travel
- Reduced air pollution from factories and traffic support the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, which will boost Maryland’s tourism economy
- Encouraging “green” building practices
Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2011 Green Goods and Services (GGS) Survey found that Maryland already has over 91,000 people working in fields that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. According the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Maryland has the 12th largest green industry in terms of GGS employment and ranks 7th in the nation in its total share of GGS-related jobs at 3.6 percent. Maryland is one of the top solar states in the country with nearly 150 companies and more than 3,000 jobs.
The Labor Network for Sustainability conducted a report comparing the jobs impact of renewable energy versus fossil fuels. Key findings include:
- Renewable energy and conservation produce significantly more jobs than older fossil-fuel run power plants.
- A dollar invested in energy efficiency and alternative energy produces more than twice as many jobs as a dollar invested in coal or natural gas.
- Generating energy from wind and solar is becoming less and less expensive, and the cost of generating energy from coal is going up.
To read this full report, click here.
- Businesses can learn of ways to green their business and let consumers know they are green by registering their organizations with the Maryland Green Registry, a list of businesses in the state that are committed to environmental best practices in its operations.
- Search for new jobs on the Maryland Green Jobs Network to further your career in social and environmental responsibility. The Maryland Clean Energy Center is currently working on a statewide jobs database for companies that are looking to fill clean energy or energy efficiency positions.
- Implement cost-saving energy efficient upgrades to your home (see our Clean Energy page for more.)