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SD is 50th in clean energy economy

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Despite a string of wind generators in central and east central South Dakota, the state ranks 50th in having a clean energy economy, according to a new study by the Brookings Institute.

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The think tank says 6,659 jobs — 1.5 percent of all jobs in the state — are attributed to clean energy, which ranks it 45th in the nation.

Between 2003 and 2010 South Dakota added 1,200 clean jobs for 2.9 percent annual growth, according to Brookings, This placed the state 47th and 32nd in those categories.

Further, the study noted that, on average, each clean economy job in South Dakota produces $42,092 in exports, which ranks it fi fth.

Clean energy jobs also pay better than the average South Dakota way. The study estimated the median wage in South Dakota’s clean economy at $33,880 compared to $29,849 for all jobs.

The wind energy sector is the fastest growing area in terms of clean energy job creation in the state, with a 39 percent annual growth rate over the past decade, according to the study.

The study considers clean energy economies to include industries such as sustainable forest products, biofuels/biomass, wind energy, conservation, public mass transit, hydropower and waste management and treatment.

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