State legislators lobby for clean-energy laws

According to a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the clean-energy economy has grown significantly across all 50 states. Its research shows that between 1998 and 2007, clean-energy jobs grew by 9.1 percent while the total number of jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. Not only has the clean-energy economy fostered innovation and industry through its creation of jobs, but also has signaled further interest from the market in the form of venture capital investments.

According to Pew, venture capital investment in clean technology crossed the $1 billion mark in 2005 and has continued to grow even further, totaling nearly $12.6 billion in the past three years.

Locally, according to Pew’s report, Hawaii’s jobs in the clean-energy economy grew from about 1,900 in 1998 to more than 2,700 in 2007. Pew also found that in the past three years, Hawaii attracted more than $12 million in clean-technology venture capital. And in 2008, Hawaiian Electric Co. agreed to double its company’s voluntary goal of providing 20 percent of electric power from renewable resources by 2030.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-Kailua-Kaneohe Bay, is assistant minority leader and a member of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.

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