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Study shows Missouri creates fewer clean energy jobs than average

By Catherine Wolf, KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

Missouri lags behind the national average for developing so-called clean energy jobs, according to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The study looked at job growth in areas like renewable energy development, recycling and energy conservation.

Lori Grange heads the Pew Center's research group. She said states that require renewable energy attract more job development because companies see a tangible commitment to alternative energy.

"The fact that Missouri just integrated a renewable energy standard last fall, I think bodes well for its growth going forward."

In November, Missouri voters passed Proposition C, which requires investor-owned utilities to get 15 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2021.

According to the report, Missouri had nearly 12,000 clean energy jobs in 2007, the last time data was collected. That's compared to a national average of slightly more than 15,000 per state. Most were in recycling and waste water treatment.

Chris Chung is the CEO of the Missouri Partnership, a non-profit group that works to bring new businesses to the state. He said the next wave of jobs likely will come from building renewable energy products.

"They tend to be manufactured close to where they're installed. That bodes well for states like Missouri that are essentially in the heart of the wind power corridor in the United States."

The Pew Center reports Missouri attracted more than $24 million in clean energy investments in the last three years.