Clean Energy Jobs for the U.S. Midwest -Lessons Learned from the German Success Story of Low Carbon Growth


Clean Energy Jobs for the U.S. Midwest -Lessons Learned from the German Success Story of Low Carbon Growth

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From right to left: Christine Wörlen (Arepo Consult), Aaron Peterson (juwi wind llc), Dr. Klaus Scharioth (German Ambassador to the US),Yvette Pena Lopes (Blue Green Alliance), Till Kötter (HBF)

Executive Summary

September 23, 2010
Christine Wörlen

Germany has become the world leader in the development, manufacturing, and deployment of renewable energy technologies. In early 2010, 16% of the country’s electricity was generated from sources such as biomass, wind, and sun, driving a forward-looking industry that already employs more than 300,000 people. The global financial crisis has impacted this sector much less than most others, hence strengthening Germany’s economy on the whole.

This is reason enough to look at the German renewable sector in more depth: What are the driving forces behind this economic success story? What lessons can be learned and which of these could be transferred to the United States? This report analyzes the growth of the renewable energy sector in Germany and suggests policy measures for the debate in the U.S. By applying some of these lessons learned, Midwestern states such as Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota could strengthen their renewable policies, build truly local industries, and create new, wellpaying jobs.

The report presents the final findings from the Midwestern Green Jobs Fellowship and Tour 2010. Based on research and discussions with stakeholders from the Midwest, fellow Christine Wörlen assessed current and future measures of job creation in the field of renewable energy. Her findings were presented to and discussed with stakeholders during the Midwestern Green Jobs Tour in July. Christine Wörlen is the former Head of the Renewable Energy Division of German Energy Agency (dena) and now owns and manages Arepo Consult.

The report is issued as part of a two-year program of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s offices in Brussels, Prague and Washington: The Climate Network – Transatlantic Solutions for a Low Carbon Economy aims to build a transatlantic policy network to support key regions—the Midwest and Southeast of the United States as well as Central and Eastern Europe—in developing economic and policy tools that will enable them to successfully transition to a low-carbon economy.

Click here to download the report (pdf, 32 pages, 805KB)

This report was released at a briefing in the US Congress on September 16, in cooperation with the Blue Green Alliance and the Transatlantic Climate Bridge of the German Embassy. Read a summary of the panel discussion here.

Dr. Klaus Scharioth, Ambassador of Germany

Yvette Pena Lopes, Director of Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs, Blue Green Alliance
Aaron Peterson, Vice President project and business development, juwi Wind LLC
Christine Wörlen, Owner of Arepo consult, former Head of the Renewables Division of the German energy agency

Till Kötter, Project Coordinator,The Climate Network, Heinrich Böll Foundation

This project is supported by the European Commission. The European Commission is not responsible for the content of the briefing.

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