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.