Sunday, May 31, 2009

Florida's Renewable Energy Plan Would Bring 37,000 New Jobs

That is the estimate in renewable energy employment. And, if the plan were fully implemented, the plan would generate $40 billion for the economy and 150,000 new jobs in total. Photo by David Sassoon at SolveClimate. reports:

"The just-released report examined 28 policy measures in Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s 2008 Climate Action Plan, including the 20 percent by 2020 renewable electricity standard. In all, it found that implementing the full Climate Action Plan could add almost 150,000 new jobs and bring almost $40 billion in increased economic activity to the Sunshine state." See full article.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Chevy Volt and GM's Hopes for a Recovery

Popular Mechanics test drove the Chevy Volt which is coming to market in November of 2010. The reivews are very positive and GM has great hopes for the vehicle as a big part of its climb out of bankruptcy and strong future employment. In this instance green technology is ground-zero in America's fight for new jobs.

Popular Mechanics reports:

"For all the radical departure from traditional automotive engineering that's going on here, driving the test mule proved remarkably unremarkable. It drove like any common car. It accelerated, steered and braked in ways that wouldn't disturb any driver who was unaware of the underlying technology. The big differences: it was all but utterly silent, devoid of even the whirring and gear-whining sounds we're accustomed to hearing from EVs. Since there's no disruption by gear-changing, it's even more liquid-smooth than the latest luxury sedans with their seven- and eight-speed automatic transmissions

Whatever future is in store for General Motors, the Volt technology holds great promise. If one of the new green startup auto companies had it, that company could march straight off to Wall Street, float an IPO and likely get more financing than GM's current market capitalization." See full article.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Miami's New $200 Million Smart Grid Program and Job Creation

Miami believes that a million smart meters will make its power grid more efficient and interactive and, importantly, will create many new jobs. reports:

"Energy Smart Miami has the potential to be the most extensive and holistic smart grid implementation in the country. The backbone of Energy Smart Miami will be the deployment of more than 1 million advanced wireless “smart meters” to every home and most businesses in Miami-Dade County. These meters will give Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) customers more information and control over their electricity usage while also providing FPL with information that will enhance system efficiency and reliability. Implementation of the smart meters will be based on open network architecture, allowing other providers to develop and deploy new applications that could, for example, help consumers better manage the electricity usage of their air conditioning and appliances.

Energy Smart Miami is estimated to generate demand for 800 to 1,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly involved in the deployment, during the two-year implementation period." See full article.

Electricians' Local Pursues Green Job Training

Electricians in Hawaii are pusuing gren job training to learn more about installation and repair of energy conserving technologies. reports:

"The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, IBEW Local 1186, and the Electrical Contractors Association of Hawaii unveiled a new training program for its union members and apprentices to provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to install and maintain energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.
'Renewable energy is not the wave of the future, it's already here. Our members and apprentices will be going into the workplace with skills that are expected of them as we move toward a new energy economy,' said Damien Kim, IBEW Local 1186 Business Manager and Financial Secretary." See full article.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Study: $1 Billion Euro German Retrofit Project Produces/Saves 140,000 Jobs

A 2007 WorldWatch Institute report assesses green job creation.

"The most ambitious building retrofitting project to date is the German Alliance for Work and the Environment’s project to retrofit German homes. Since 2001, 1 billion Euros of public subsidies stimulated 5 billion euros in investment and resulted in 200,000 apartment retrofits. An estimated $4 billion through additional tax revenues and savings in unemployment benefits and 2% of annual emissions from German buildings were reduced.293 The energy efficient measures included improving heat insulation of roofs, windows and walls, introducing advanced heating technologies and controlled air ventilation systems and using renewable energy such as photovoltaic or solar thermal systems.294

The Alliance estimated that 200,000 jobs would be created; however a recent assessment of the German Alliance for Work and the Environment showed that only 25,000 FTE (full time equivalent) additional jobs were produced. Another 116,000 were saved between 2002 and 2004 during a recession in the construction sector. Even though these numbers lower than expected, the job numbers are still fairly substantial with around 140,000 new or saved jobs.

These results along with the additional revenue and savings have prompted the German government not only to renew the project, but even increase the money allotted for the program. In 2005, Germany increased the funding of its building retrofit program to 1.5 billion euros." See full report.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Energy Retrofits Outstrip Oil and Coal in Job Creation

Each dollar spent on an energy retrofit of buildings has more than twice the job creation punch of a dollar spent on oil or coal development. (Image from
Dollars and reports:

"In fact, retrofitting creates more than twice as many jobs per dollar spent than oil or coal production, according to a detailed study that my colleagues and I at the Political Economy Research Institute conducted in 2008. For each $1 million spent, retrofitting creates about 19 jobs while spending on coal creates nine jobs and oil only six. Retrofitting also creates more jobs per dollar spent than personal consumption on typical items such as food, clothing, and electronics. Personal consumption does better than fossil fuels, but not as well as retrofitting, generating about 15 jobs per $1 million spent." See ful article.

Business Leaders: 2 million US Jobs from Clean Energy

Business leaders meeting in Copenhagen sized up how a new carbon markey andshift to clean energy will affect the world's economy.

The Associated Press reports:

"Hoping to create a global carbon market, the organizers of a world business summit on climate change said 2 million new jobs would be created in the U.S. alone if it increased its reliance on cleaner sources of energy. The Copenhagen Climate Council study said the U.S. would gain that many jobs, if its electricity use grew by just half of 1 percent a year and a quarter of its electricity came from wind energy and other renewable sources. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the CEOs of major international corporations that similar investments could produce a million new jobs in European Union countries." See full article.

Vice President Announces $500 Million Green Job Training Program

Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Denver was occasion for his explaining a green job training program of major proportions.

The Denver Post reports:

"Vice President Joe Biden promised in Denver .... to put the poorest and recently unemployed to work in the renewable energy sector, the latest stop on a cross-country tour focused on improving the middle class. Biden announced plans to dedicate $500 million from the federal stimulus to train residents of housing projects to weatherize homes and perform other green jobs. Of that, $50 million will be focused on areas hit hardest by the automobile industry." See full article.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Counts of Green Jobs and Definitions Are Improving

Even with a strict definition of what is a "green job" Washington State finds it already has five times as many as it thought.

Reuters and report on the various defitnitions and ways they are counted:
"WSU actually adopted a different and narrower definition: green jobs are those held by employees who devote a substantial share of their work hours to activities that boost energy efficiency and renewable energy or prevent, reduce, or clean up pollution. This definition likely omits many other green jobs, such as those in conservation and restoration of our natural heritage, bicycling and transit, and real-estate development for compact communities. It also excludes everything in the public and nonprofit sectors such as environmental education and advocacy. (Ironically, under WSU's survey rules, none of Sightline's staff would count. Not even Van Jones would qualify.)
On the plus side, WSU's definition does allow a precise census. WSU surveyed more than 9,500 private-sector employers in Washington and found more than 47,000 green jobs -- five times more than previously estimated." See full article.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home Energy Savings Translates to Jobs In California

There are many ways that the new energy economy will create new jobs. Some will come from freeing up money tied up in energy bills.

California Green Solutions reports:

"Energy efficiency measures have enabled California households to redirect their expenditure toward other goods and services, creating about 1.5 million FTE jobs with a total payroll of over $45 billion, driven by well-documented household energy savings of $56 billion from 1972-2006." Green Solutions' projected job creation categories include: Another 1.5 million jobs in the coming years,

Agriculture 2,967
Light Industrial 41,300
Chemicals 6,526
Semiconductors 830
Vehicles 1,428
Other Industrials 5,541
Wholesale/Rtail Trade 457,475
Vehicle Sales 215
Transportation 724
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate 143,114
Other Services 345,313
Public Service 481,703

See link.

Green Job Growth, the Smart Grid and Computers

Green job development will be about many transformations including the evolution of a new "smart" energy grid that is run in a more interactive, two-way, manner with major new computer software and technology helping out. Some say this transition will make the smart grid bigger than the Internet. One company is getting ready. (illustration: CNet Greentech)

Green Biz reports:

"Cisco's SmartGrid solutions lay out an entire framework of smart energy tools, covering everything homes to data centers to electrical substations. The tools will allow utility companies and their customers manage power supplies and energy consumption more efficiently.
The company expects that the Smart Grid and its associated infrastructure needs will become a $20 billion market by 2015, and that the benefits of moving toward a system that allows for on-demand, instead of always-on, energy utilization can save the United States 10 to 15 percent or more of overall energy use, cut back significantly on the greenhouse gas emissions related to electricity generation, and create as many as 280,000 green jobs." See full article.

Renewable Energy as an American Heavy Industry

The slow down in the U.S. automobile industry has a massive effect on the economy. But alternative energy-related manufacturing is offering some promise.

CNN Money reports:

Surrounded by farms, a family-run manufacturer is getting in on the business everyone from President Obama on down hopes will clear the air, wean the country off imported energy, and replace the fast-disappearing auto jobs: Making parts for the burgeoning renewable energy sector.
For the last two years, the Minster Machine Company has been forging the giant cast-iron hubs that keep the blades attached to the center of a wind turbine. "The wind market for us was a diversification strategy," said John Winch, who followed his father, grandfather and great-grandfather in helming the 103-year old company. Minster Machine also makes the equiptment that make the parts for the auto, medical and food industries, among others.

One study by the University of California, Berkeley estimated that green energy companies employ at least half a million people. That number could climb to 2 to 4 million over the next 15 years if the nation got 15%-20% of its power from renewable sources. See full article.

White House Task Force To Base Economic Recovery on Green Energy

As America looks for answers on how to get out of the current economic recession, new environmental technologies and alternative energy will be prominent.

The Washington Post reports:

"A White House task force charged with helping to revive the economy will focus on the creation of a comprehensive U.S. energy plan that will generate millions of clean energy jobs ....., the White House said.
The board, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, 'will focus on the creation of clean energy jobs and what the administration can continue to do working with the private sector to spur an environment ... where those are created,' White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters." See full article.

Green jobs In America

There is a major national discussion about how the United States must shift to a new green economy to cool the planet and heat up the economy. It means less reliance on foreign oil, cleaner air and water, an improved national export-import ratio, and a profound level of change in America. Importantly, it means that America must find a way to shift its overall approach to producing and managing energy.

The new technologies being developed to accommodate that shift include solar and wind power, biofuels, a transformation of power distribution through an interactive "smart" power grid that would be the energy equivalent of the Internet.

This site includes recent information on how and where those jobs are developing and what are the opportunies being created.