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Published June 23, 2009, 12:00 AM

Clean-energy jobs are the future

I was pleasantly surprised to see in the news that the number of clean-energy jobs in North Dakota is growing at a rate three times faster than jobs in other sectors.

By: Terry Pilling, Mandan, N.D.

I was pleasantly surprised to see in the news that the number of clean-energy jobs in North Dakota is growing at a rate three times faster than jobs in other sectors. These numbers show that renewable energy and clean-energy jobs are here to stay. North Dakota can and should do much more to promote the growth of new clean-energy industries.

North Dakota has one of the best wind resources in the entire country, with net capacity factors over 40 percent as compared to 30 percent in most other states.

As a result, the wind energy industry has grown substantially in recent years and many new projects are in the development stages. However, I believe we’re just touching the surface of what can and should be done.

The most important policy change that would guarantee North Dakota becomes a leader in the wind energy industry would be to implement emission standards throughout the state. These emission standards would encourage utilities and electrical transmission system owners to acknowledge that the cheapest and cleanest source of new energy is wind. Other states have already made this change and are now beginning to move ahead of us in wind development.

North Dakota has an opportunity to be a leader in the clean-energy economy – let’s make sure we don’t miss out on it.


Pilling, Ph.D., is vice president of operations and technology, Crownbutte Windpower Inc.

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