Processing Magazine

Renewable energy may be job boon for Kansas

January 12, 2009

The Associated Press reports that Sedgwick and Saline are among the Kansas counties that could potentially gain thousands of jobs from alternative energy business, according to a report from the Renewable Energy Policy Project. The findings were released in Wichita at a news conference announcing the formation of the Kansas Blue Green Alliance, a coalition of state labor, environmental and farm groups. The study said Kansas could create 11,500 jobs and draw $2 billion in investment in renewable energy. Besides Sedgwick and Saline, other Kansas counties with large potential to profit are Johnson, Ellis and Wyandotte. The report says Sedgwick County could gain more than 1,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in business making equipment for wind turbines and other alternative energy technologies. It estimates that Saline County could see as many as 2,300 jobs and $430 million in investments, with the most potential coming from solar energy business and the large Exide Technologies battery plant in Salina. The report looked at components used in making wind turbines, photovoltaic cell solar power plants, biomass plants and geothermal plants. They were then compared to a list of Kansas companies that make similar products or use similar production techniques, with the connection being that they could easily convert their operations to make components of wind turbines or other alternative energy technologies. Most of the discussion about renewable energy in Kansas in recent months has focused on wind.