The clean technology sector grew at a faster rate than the rest of the Arkansas economy over the last eight years and shows the greatest potential for continued growth, according to a recent report by the Southern Growth Policies Board and released by the newly-formed Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA). The “Arkansas Clean Technology Primer” is the first comprehensive overview of the state’s clean tech sector, which has grown from a handful of companies in 2003 to more than 80 companies today employing thousands of Arkansans, according to the report. “The Primer shows that the clean tech sector represents a significant growth opportunity for our state’s economy,” said Steve Patterson, AAEA Executive Director. “Global demands for energy are rising rapidly and those states that diversify energy resources are most likely to attract new jobs and prosper.”
The Primer cites recent studies by Brookings Institute and the Pew Center on States that agree that while Arkansas endured an overall decline in jobs between 2001 and 2010, the clean tech sector grew from between 7.8 percent and 16 percent depending on methods used to define clean tech. Recent advanced energy job growth in the state includes wind component manufacturers like Nordex USA, Inc. in Jonesboro and LM Wind Power in Little Rock and FutureFuel Chemical Co., a biodiesel manufacturer in Batesville.
Read the executive summary and full report here.
Happy New Year!
Take a quick look at what SAFER’s been up to in 2011 and where we’re going in 2012:
Highlights of 2011:
- Released the report Implications of Biomass Definitions in January 2011. The SAFER Advisory Council hosted a Congressional Briefing as well as a webinar to share the report’s findings.
- Convened a state policy dialogue in Virginia that resulted in the white paper: The Opportunities & Challenges of Virginia’s Bioeconomy. The white paper was also presented at the Virginia Alternative & Renewable Energy Association’s annual meeting.
- Convened the Southern Bioenergy Networks Meeting with nearly 40 representatives of bioenergy networks across the South to discuss network development, Southern challenges, and ways to work together as a region.
- Completed seven bioeconomy commentaries on topics such as rural job creation, innovation, and public policy.
- Published bioeconomy case studies on the Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council and the Georgia Bioenergy One Stop Shop.
- Co-sponsored Bio Pro Expo 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia; ASES National Solar Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Southeast Bioenergy Conference in Tifton, Georgia.
All these publications can be found under the “Publications” tab.
What’s planned for in 2012:
- Follow up and implementation on the action items identified at the Southern Bioenergy Networks Meeting.
- State policy dialogues focused on economic development and the bioeconomy across the South.
- Continued publication of SAFER commentaries and case studies.
- Update and redesign of the Southern Bioenergy State Fact Sheets.
We look forward to working with you in 2012!
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducts research all across the bioenergy supply chain. Biologists, ecologists, chemists, material scientists, geographers and economists have teamed up over the past 35 years to better understand and quantify the potential of bioenergy and to advance bioenergy technologies.
While research dollars are flat to decreasing in this time of fiscal austerity, the need for research to enable the promise of bioenergy has not diminished. ORNL is leveraging its research dollars, teaming with other institutions and moving forward. The needs for bioenergy—energy security, rural development, reduction of greenhouse gases has never been greater.
Click here to read the entire commentary, written by Robin Graham, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and SAFER Advisory Council Member.
Georgia grows wood like the Midwest grows corn,” says Jill Stuckey, director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Energy.
In fact, with nearly 25 million acres of forests in Georgia, the state ranks second in the nation, behind only Oregon, in terms of forest acreage. In contrast to Oregon, where many of the forests are on federal land, 90 percent of Georgia’s forests are privately owned.
It’s not surprising then that a desire to find new markets for Georgia’s wood products was a key impetus behind the creation of the Center of Innovation for Energy and one of its core services, the Biomass One Stop Shop.
View and download the case study here.