According to a recently published study, jobs in the clean energy industry are on the rise in West Michigan. The 2017 clean jobs report released earlier this month found that Michigan is home to 92,000 clean energy jobs, and 6500 of those are based in in Kent County. Clean Energy Industry officials gathered Thursday morning in Grand Rapids to highlight the report at non-profit A Renewable America
“We are here in Grand Rapids Michigan to celebrate the continued and rapid expansion of good jobs and clean energy, throughout Kent County, throughout West Michigan, and throughout the state of Michigan,” Chuck Lipstreu, who spoke on behalf of A Renewable America said.
Meanwhile Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss is working to see that the city is running on a hundred percent renewable energy by the year 2025. So far in 2017, the city has partnered with Founders Brewing Company to turn the beermaker’s wastewater into renewable energy. In addition, the city commission in August voted to establish PACE programs, giving local business owners financial incentives to switch to solar powered energy.
Alison Waske Sutter is the Sustainability Manager for the city of Grand Rapids. She says the city’s efforts to reach Mayor’s Bliss goal by 2025 will continue to drive job creation.
“The City is proud of our success in the clean energy sector, and our commitment to sustainability,” Sutter said. “Our goal to source 100 percent renewable energy will continue to drive the growth of clean energy jobs.”
The increase in clean energy jobs is particular felt in the solar paneling sector. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the last year, Michigan jumped from 38th to 11th in the U.S. in terms of solar industry jobs.