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Study: Wisconsin adds clean energy jobs amid national drop

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin added nearly 1,800 new clean energy jobs last year despite a slowing of jobs growth in the industry nationwide, according to a new report.

National advocacy groups Environmental Entrepreneurs and Clean Energy Trust have released a study that found Wisconsin jobs in the clean energy industry grew by 2.4% last year, compared to 2017.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy generation sectors saw the most growth in the state in 2018.

Jobs in Wisconsin’s energy efficiency sector, which includes manufacturing efficient lighting or heating systems, increased by 1.4 percent from 2017 to 2018. Renewable energy generation jobs grew by 5.4 percent in that same period.

The number of renewable energy jobs across the country declined last year partly due to President Donald Trump’s tariffs on imported solar panels, according to the report.

The state’s solar industry isn’t as affected by the tariffs because it relies on small installations, in which panels are more cost-effective, said Tyler Huebner, executive director of advocacy group RENEW Wisconsin.

“Nationally, where there’s other really large scale solar projects, where the cost of the panels is a larger percentage of the project, then that little bit of change in the tariff price can have an outsized effect,” Huebner said.

Huebner warned the tariffs could hurt the industry in the coming years, considering several large solar farms planned for the state.

“We hope those tariffs kind of go away and work themselves out in the market so that our solar expansion isn’t affected by those kind of tariffs,” Huebner said.

The report also found that Wisconsin’s clean energy companies are facing a worker shortage, which is affecting their abilities to expand.

Nearly 88 percent of the surveyed companies reported difficulty finding workers. But the state’s clean energy companies still expect to add more than 6,000 jobs this year, according to the study.


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Calendar

Monday, April 15

Senior Dining: Noon, Bloomer: Senior Center, 2121 Duncan Road. Cadott: Kathy’s Diner, 304 E. Mills St. Chippewa Falls: Senior Center, 1000 E. Grand Ave. Cornell: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 201 S 6th St. Donation: $4 at sites and home delivery.

Barnabas Christian Coffee House Supper: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., 19 West Spring St., Chippewa Falls. Includes meal.

Overeaters Anonymous: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, Chippewa Falls. Enter through the west door (back of parking lot). Karen, 456-2900.

AA Meeting: 7 p.m., Alano Club 76, 76 E. Central St., Chippewa Falls. 723-7626.

Tuesday, April 16

Chippewa Area History/Genealogy Center: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Chippewa Area History Center, 123 Allen St., Chippewa Falls. Tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 723-4399.

AA Meeting: Noon, Alano Club 76, 76 E. Central St., Chippewa Falls. 723-7626.

Cards: 1 p.m., Cornell Senior Center, 106 N. Third St. Game changes weekly. All welcome. Info, 307-7268. $1/week to cover snacks.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: 4:45 to 6 p.m., Romeis Apartments, 607 High St., Chippewa Falls. New members welcome. 723-0460. First meeting free.

Free hot meal at Agnes’ Table: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., 24 W. Grand Ave., Chippewa Falls. All welcome.

Fruit of the Vine Food Pantry: 5 to 8 p.m., Trinity Christian Fellowship, W11581 Hwy X, Stanley. Serves all. Must bring a form of ID.

Open Door Clinic: 5 to 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 130 W. Central St., Chippewa Falls. Free basic health care services provided to Chippewa County residents who are uninsured or in some cases underinsured and have a household income of 200 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Jill Cooper, 720-1443.

Depressed Anonymous Support Group: 6 p.m., Notre Dame Parish Life Center, room no. 4 of lower level in Parish Life Center, 22 S. Prairie St., Chippewa Falls. Collene Spath, 715-456-8010.

Cards night: 7 p.m., Chippewa Falls Moose Lodge.

Narcotics Anonymous: 7 p.m., Central Lutheran Church, 28 E. Columbia St., Chippewa Falls.

New Hope AA: 8 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 201 W. Central St., Chippewa Falls.