Concerns about the environment, climate change and limited resources are causing an explosion of “green” processes, products and services—and creating a fast-growing sector of the economy.

This week, Gov. Rell announced that the state has officially applied to receive nearly $39 million in federal stimulus funds for energy-related programs. Funds would be used to help create “a green collar workforce while building an economy of the future that includes renewable and alternative energy sources and clean technology,” she said.

Also this week, the legislature’s Commerce, Higher Education and Energy committees held a joint forum to highlight the need to develop more green jobs in today’s economy.

At the forum, it was revealed that the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) are collaborating on a three-part study to identify effective ways to support and accelerate growth of Connecticut’s energy efficiency/ renewable energy industry.

Green employment is an increasingly bright spot in what continues to be a dismal economy. It’s an area in which Connecticut already has a good start and can position itself to be a leader as the economy recovers.

Stimulus funds
Connecticut has applied to receive $38.5 million in energy stimulus grants to help meet four goals mandated by the U.S. Energy Department. The goals are:

  • Increase efficiency and reduce energy costs for consumers, businesses and government
  • Reduce reliance on imported energy
  • Improve reliability of electricity and delivery of energy services
  • Reduce the impact of energy production on the environment

Also coming directly to the state Department of Environmental Protection is $1.73 million in stimulus funds to cut harmful diesel engine emissions in Connecticut through the use of green technologies. The funds will create jobs to accomplish these projects, which Gov. Rell said “represent the future of Connecticut.”

Green study
The first phase of the study by the two state energy funds will establish a baseline for the renewable energy and energy efficiency economy in Connecticut, including the number of jobs, employment income, and revenue attributable to renewable energy and energy efficiency companies in the state. The study represents an independent assessment and analysis performed by nationally recognized experts in this area.

Improving the environment, upgrading the energy infrastructure, and making more efficient use of energy resources has enormous potential for creating jobs and industries to meet the demand. All of these efforts will require new or improved technologies, products and processes.

CBIA hopes that plans to expand the state’s energy capacity and accomplish its green goals will include expediting the regulatory processes for any upgrades to our infrastructure.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Kevin Hennessy at 860-244-1979 or kevin.hennessy@cbia.com.