A report released today by the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that job growth associated with green industries could be the fastest growing job market over the next few decades.  As reported in Time Magazine:

A major shift to renewable energy and efficiency is expected to produce 4.2 million new environmentally friendly "green" jobs over the next three decades, according to a study commissioned by the nation’s mayors.

By 2038, another 4.2 million green jobs are expected to be added, accounting for 10 percent of new job growth over the next 30 years, according to the report by Global Insight, Inc.

"It could be the fastest growing segment of the United States economy over the next several decades and dramatically increase its share of total employment," said the report, obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Ohio, with its long history of manufacturing and its heavy reliance on fossil fuels, has been slower to embrace green ideas as means of turning its economic fortunes around.   However, the drumbeat of bad economic news has more Ohio leaders looking for new opportunities to jump start Ohio’s economy.  From 2000 to 2007, Ohio lost 209,000 jobs.  During that same period Cleveland lost 63,000 jobs based upon a report compiled using Department of Labor statistics

The single largest development was passage of legislation (S.B. 221) this summer that created a renewable portfolio standard, advanced energy portfolio standard and energy efficiency requirements. However, a review of recent local news stories and events shows the Buckeye State is beginning to focus on developing a green economy:

  • Cincinnati Wants to Lead Green Roof Movement in U.S.- The City Council on Wednesday became the first in Ohio with a plan to channel grants and loans to residents and businesses to replace tar and shingles with vegetation.
  • Columbus Summit on Sustainability and the Environment-  MORPC, the Columbus metropolitan planning organization, held a successful multi-day summit at the Columbus Convention Center.  Over 500 individuals attended that event that had a wide range of presentations relating to sustainability. 
  • Eight Major Green Projects in Northeast Ohio– They include attracting fish to the Cuyahoga River shipping channel through installation of plants along the bulkhead, deconstruction of abandoned homes to recycle the materials, local food from urban community gardens, etc.
  • Wind Turbines on Lake Erie- Cuyahoga County officials this week rolled out the first three reports from their $1 million study of a grand vision — erecting two to 10 wind turbines in the lake off Cleveland’s shore.  Constructing off-shore wind power in fresh water is seen as a possible economic driver in Northeast Ohio.
  • Ohio State University Participates in Solar Decathlon– 20 university teams will participate in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. The teams, chosen from the United States, Canada, and Europe, will each receive $100,000 from DOE to design, build, and operate energy efficient, solar-powered homes.  The Solar Decathlon is an international, biennial competition that challenges university teams to design and build energy efficient solar-powered homes.
  • Ohio Has 28 Solar Sites as Part of National Solar Tour-  Green Energy Ohio organized the tours in Ohio as part of the American Solar Energy Society.  The tours are from October 3-5.
  • Ohio Gov. Recognizes U. of Toledo Solar Power Leadership-