A Guide To NH's Growing Green Economy


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As it stands, the green economy in New Hampshire is growing, but still lackluster.

According to a Brookings Institution study released in July of 2011, from 2003 to 2010, New Hampshire’s green jobs industry grew at an average of 3.5 percent a year, outpacing the rest of New England.  But the result of that growth was lackluster.  Only two percent of the state’s workforce holds down a green job, which places New Hampshire square in the middle of the national average.


Solar power is one of NH's growing green industries.

There’s a lot of disagreement about what, exactly, a “green job” is.  The Brookings report notes this lack of consensus is one of the reasons it’s difficult to measure national and regional growth.  But there is broad agreement that the green economy encompasses renewable energy and technology, environmentally-friendly products manufacturing, and other activities that either benefit the environment, or at least don’t harm it.
Some of the most promising sectors developing in New Hampshire focus on developing and manufacturing technology for alternative energy and energy efficiency.  Southern New Hampshire dominates this growing economy, with Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties holding down 80 percent of the state’s green jobs.  Meanwhile, using the North Country’s forests to establish a large-scale biofuels industry has proven difficult.

At this point, the state government isn’t pumping a lot of money into growing the green economy, preferring instead to allow private entities to invest where they see fit.  But recently, federal stimulus funds passing through the NH Office of Energy and Planning established the Green Launching Pad.  The GLP is a green business incubator at the University of New Hampshire.  It will receive stimulus funding through April, 2012.

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This week, StateImpact will be checking-in on the progress of the University of New Hampshire‘s Green Launching Pad initiative.  Begun in 2010 with $1.5 million in federal stimulus money, the GLP’s goal is to provide seed money, UNH faculty business expertise, and student interns to entrepreneurs in the state’s growing green sectors. One of the […]

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