Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In 2008 Oregon Had 51,402 Green Jobs

Oregon did a tally of its green jobsfor 2008

The Portland Business Journal reports:

"Three percent of the jobs in Oregon in 2008 were considered 'green jobs,' according to the new Oregon Employment Department report "The Greening of Oregon’s Workforce: Jobs, Wages, and Training." The report, based on a survey of employers, found that 51,402 green jobs accounted for Oregon’s private, state government, and local government employment. Green jobs were reported in all broad industry groups and were spread across 226 occupations." See full article.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yesterday's Climate Deniers: Today's Green Job Skeptics

A 2009 report by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) says that the rising excitement over U.S. green jobs is misguided and overrated and will not deliver the vibrant new economy so many experts are predicting. (Scroll down through this weblog to see some of the studies and cases documenting robust green job growth.)
Conservative columnist George Will picked up this banner recently with a piece about Senator Bond's report (which draws heavily on the work of 36 year old spanish economist Gabriel Calzeda of Rey Juan Carlos University.) It basically says: a) more people will lose their jobs than will get new green jobs and b) the jobs will be low-paying. It is surely good to question all assertions and assumptions about green jobs but some feel this skepticism may have its own biases and political flavoring.
Matthew Wheeland at GreenBiz.com reports:

Are Green Jobs Skeptics the New Climate Deniers?

"It's the same line we've heard repeatedly in the last few months. Last month, I sat in on a press conference detailing the "myths" about green jobs discovered by researchers from several universities. That report, "Green Jobs Myths," had much the same worries as Bond's reports: we're in the midst of rushing headlong into a project that may end up costing us dearly.

But I've yet to see any indication that the number of new jobs that will be created to power the country by low-carbon sources is going to be fewer than the number of people currently employed in the fossil fuel business.On top of that, concerns about the pay for these jobs seems both unfounded and at least a bit misplaced. Even if these jobs do pay less than existing jobs (also not a given), considering that the country is hemorrhaging jobs of all types, is it better to have a job that pays slightly less than no job at all?And finally, it comes down to the fact that we don't have a choice but to make this switch happen and we will adjust with the consequences. Even if green jobs and the green economy are not a panacea for all our problems, the climate crisis is not going away..." See full article.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

There is a Parallel Between Growth of the U.S. Information Economy and Projections for the Green Economy

Green Business expert and author Joel Makower sees many parallels between the coming green economic age and the arrival of the computer information age decades ago. The information age was about innovation, new products and services and growth. The green age offers the same kind of opportunities. Photo: GreenBiz.com

The Ocala Business Journal reports:
"If you want to get an idea of state of green business right now, Joel Makower says there's a parallel in the information economy. ... 'thousands of companies brought down the price of everything from broadband connections to increased processing speeds to increased disk storage space, to the point that this all became so cheap and ubiquitous that it's practically free,' he said.

Makower said today's business innovators need to apply that same approach to alternative energy. Makower said the green phenomenon in the business world has evolved through three eras: from simply discontinuing bad practices; to adopting more energy-efficient and waste-reducing measures; to the current stage, in which entrepreneurs are considering how green becomes a platform for new business models and growth. Green business practices and products can create value, Makower said, by increasing sales, decreasing costs, creating new products and markets, improving quality, decreasing risk and liability, and increasing ability to attract and retain talent." See full article.

Friday, June 26, 2009

House of Representatives Passes Landmark Climate Legislation

The House has passed legislation to limit carbon emissions and put us on a path for a greener economy and green jobs.
The New York Times reports:

"The vote was 219 to 212.

The vote was the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill intended to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change, and its provisions could lead to sweeping changes in many sectors of the American economy, including electric power generation, agriculture, manufacturing and construction. The House vote also establishes a marker for the United States when international negotiations on a new global climate change treaty begin later this year." See full article.

Top Labor Union Supports Climate Legislation

The largest U.S. labor union is now supporting the federal climate legislation.

Huffington Post reports:

"The AFL-CIO sent a letter to the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill on urging passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, otherwise known as Waxman-Markey. It is, an aide says, perhaps the first time the union has come out in favor of a bill whose primary purpose focuses on climate improvement. And with the outcome of the legislation still in doubt -- even as the hour of the vote approaches -- the hope is that it can provide a modicum of coverage for lawmakers on the fence." See full article.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Austin Chamber Has New Green Jobs Plan

The Chamber of Commerce of City of Austin Texas has developed a green jobs plan.
The Austin Business Journal reports:

"The report is the first from the Chamber's Green Job Task Force, which launched in January 2009 to coordinate a community-wide approach to green job education and training. The task force's goal is to help facilitate the training and retraining of up to 25,000 workers in Central Texas for green jobs, namely those in the energy efficiency or renewable energy arenas. If those 25,000 jobs do materialize, they alone would likely account for an annual payroll of $1.5 billion, according to projections." See full article:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Green Jobs Potential Builds Support for House Climate Bill

Growing awarenss of the potential for green job creation and economic recovery is causing on-the-fence democrats (and maybe some republicans) to support the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Joe Hebert and Dina Cappiello at Associated Press report:

"Most Republicans are expected to oppose the bill, which would for the first time limit nationwide emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. That has prompted an intense effort by Pelosi and the bill's leading sponsors to draw in reluctant Democrats with a string of concessions - mostly aimed at defusing GOP claims that the legislation amounts to a massive energy tax on average Americans and will kill U.S. jobs.

'Both of those bubbles have been bursted,' Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., told reporters Wednesday, because lawmakers are becoming convinced the bill will create "green" energy jobs and mitigate the economic impact for energy-intensive industries such as those in his state. 'We have been taking people out of the 'no' column, into the 'undecided' column into the 'yes' column,' said Doyle. 'The momentum is coming to 'yes.'" See full article Washington Post.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wind Energy Key to Oklahoma Economy

A state known for its history as an oil producer looks toward alternative energy as its future. (Photo from: marvin908's Flickr account)

Murray Evans of Associated Press reports:

"Oklahoma has vast potential for the development of the renewable resource and it could be a boon to the state's economy [according to] speakers at a wind energy conference..... speakers included the state's commerce, energy and environmental secretaries and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, who noted Oklahoma's longtime status as an energy leader.

'We believe that Oklahoma is perfectly located for us to develop this industry in our state,' Askins said. 'Energy and agriculture have been mainstays of our economy for decades. Wind energy is an opportunity to continue developing the energy industry and continue it moving forward into the 21st century.'

Oklahoma is 12th among the states in wind energy generation, but state officials said it could climb into the top two in the next couple of decades if it continued to develop its resources. By 2030, it could provide 10 percent of the nation's electricity." See full article.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Green Sectors Eclipse Polluting Industries in Job Creation

The perception that green jobs are a rarity or that they are not a solid growth industry has another serious challenge. This time it comes from Europe.

New Europe reports:
Even during a difficult economic crisis like the one we are experiencing now, there are winning sectors – those that create employment. A recent WWF study clearly points at those winners estimating that, with over three million jobs across Europe, green economic activities have already overtaken polluting industries in terms of employment. At least 3.4 million European jobs are directly related to the “green economy”. This compares with 2.8 million jobs in polluting industries, such as mining, electricity, gas, cement, and iron and steel.Close to 400,000 people are employed in renewable energy activities, some 2.1 million in efficient transport, and over 900,000 in energy efficiency goods and services.

These jobs include, for example, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of wind turbines and solar panels, and construction works to improve efficiency in existing buildings. Related indirect jobs are estimated at approximately another five million. See full article.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Green Jobs On The Map

As part of its recent study, the Center for American Progress has developed a state-by-state map showing where green jobs can be expected in the U.S.

It is an interactive map you can access by clicking here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Report: Fighting Poverty Through Green Prosperity

Two leading public interest organizations have released information saying that people living below the poverty line have seven times higher chance of a having good green job than than securing a comparative position in the fossil fuel industry. The report is called:
NRDC and Green For All state:

"[The report was] prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. An investment of $150 billion a year in clean energy -- roughly 1 percent of national GDP -- would result in 1.7 million new jobs, with about 870,000 of them accessible to workers with a high school degree or less. About 614,000 of the new jobs available to workers with a high school degree or less will offer decent opportunities for promotion and rising wages over time, helping lift low-income workers out of poverty. The potential for clean-energy job creation within this category is seven times larger than the number of jobs that could be created by spending the same amount of money within the fossil fuel industry." See article.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Job Growth Report Supports Passage of American Clean Energy and Security Act

A new report makes a compelling jobs and economy case for passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The Center for American Progress lays out how the right the combination of limiting green house gas emissions, lowering the cost of supplying energy and improving overall energy efficiency will result in 1.7 million jobs and lower the national unemployment rate by a full percentage point. The report also looks at how many jobs will result from clean energy as compared to reliance on fossil fuel burning. Photo: AP/Alan Diaz

The Center for American Progress reports:

"Our analysis in this paper shows that these two measures operating together can generate roughly $150 billion per year in new clean-energy investments in the United States over the next decade. This estimated $150 billion in new spending annually includes government funding but is notably dominated by private-sector investments. We estimate this sustained expansion in clean-energy investments triggered by the economic stimulus program and the forthcoming American Clean Energy and Security Act can generate a net increase of about 1.7 million jobs. This expansion in job opportunities can continue as long as the economy maintains a commitment to clean-energy investments in the $150 billion per year range. If clean-energy investments expand still faster, overall job creation will increase correspondingly. See full article.

Electric Car Maker Opening Seven Sales and Service Centers in 2009

While some car companies are scaling back on dealerships, Tesla has announced that it will open seven new sales and service centers in the summer of 2009.

Physorg.com reports:

"The electric carmaker said it will open seven regional sales and service centers in upcoming weeks, establishing a coast-to-coast network in North America and retail presence in Europe. Stores in New York, Seattle and Chicago will open in late June, followed by Miami. The new additions will complement Tesla's flagship stores in Menlo Park, Calif., and Los Angeles, which opened a year ago. The company's first European store will open in London later this month, followed by Munich and Monaco. Prospective customers can test-drive the cars at all the locations." See full article.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Interviews with Green Job Holders

What are people who have green jobs saying about them?

Mother Nature Network reports:

"The 'Look Who Has a Green Job' video series from the Natural Resources Defense Council features interviews with people that are currently working in a green job. The series helps the public understand green jobs a bit better by providing real world examples of what clean energy jobs are.

A new video series from the Natural Resources Defense Council features interviews with people currently working in the clean energy industry." See full article and interviews.

Green Bonanza Down Under for 28,000

A recent prediction in an Australian Clean Energy Council model says that the land down under is in for major green job growth.

AAP General News Wire reports:

More than 28,000 Australians will be working in renewable energy by 2020 if a predicted green bonanza becomes a reality, the Clean Energy Council says.

Modelling released on Tuesday showed a new renewable energy workforce would be needed to meet demand, said the council's chief executive, Matthew Warren.
The council hopes the modelling will back up the need for a renewable energy target of 20 per cent of energy coming from green sources by 2020. See full article.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Despite Bankrupcty, GM Opens $25 Million Battery Lab In Michigan

Electric vehicles loom large in General Motor's future as evidenced by its opening a new technology lab in Michigan.

Johnathan Martinez at Examiner.com reports:

"The failing auto giant’s highly anticipated energy research lab officially opened up shop on Monday, despite filing chapter 11 bankruptcy. The new lab, located in Warren, Michigan, is touted as the world’s most leading-edge automotive technology research center. Chevrolet's electric car, the Volt, is the reason why GM went ahead with the facility. The laboratory has turned some heads, including those of the U.S. government, who have given GM billions as they continue to restructure and layoff workers. The battery research lab’s main goal is getting the Chevy Volt, the company’s first fully electric vehicle, off assembly lines by the scheduled 2010 deadline." See full article.

New York Plan for 50,000 Clean Energy Jobs by 2015

New York has an agressive five-year plan for creating clean energy jobs in the State. Photo: NYLCV.org

Washington Energy Services reports:

"Reuters reported that New York governor David Paterson has unveiled a plan that would aim to create 50,000 jobs by developing more clean energy resources by 2015 while promoting emerging technologies such as advanced batteries. "Whoever learns to store energy in this country first will replenish their economy for years to come," Governor Paterson was quoted as saying by the wire service, which said that Paterson's plan would have New York meet 45 percent of its energy needs with renewable resources." See full article.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Could The U.S. Lose Out in World Competition for Clean Energy Economy?

With Congress considering legislation to have 20% of our energy come from alternative sources by 2020 and to lower green house gases by 83% (from 2005 levels) by 2050, the prospects for our capturing a world share of the clean energy market are improving. But the competition is stiff and many feel the U.S. is lagging behind in readying for the coming green economy. (Photo: China Daily)

U.S. Representive Ed Markey for theThe Boston Globe:

"Germany has emerged as the global photovoltaic market, even though Massachusetts has 30 percent better solar resources. Korea and Japan are leapfrogging America in battery and electric vehicle technology, even though we pioneered invention of these technologies. Only one-fourth of the world's top renewable-energy companies are American-owned, because we have failed to put in place a set of policies to promote alternative energy sources. China is spending $12.6 million per hour on clean-energy development and is preparing to invest $440 billion to $660 billion this year in clean energy development." See full editorial

California Study Forcasts 1.5% Annual Energy Efficiency Will Spawn 500,000 New Jobs

An economic forcast model developed at U.C. Berkeley finds that clean energy can become aboomindustry in the Golden State. (Photo: American Progress.org)

Associated Press Reports:

"David Roland-Holst, a UC Berkeley economics professor and the study's author, predicted aggressive state legislation meant to curb greenhouse gas emissions would create an enormous new clean energy market and spur innovation to better harness renewable resources.

Roland-Holst said his study is the first to use a wide-ranging economic forecasting tool developed at UC Berkeley to study the potential effects of clean energy on the entire California economy.
If the state were to continue with its current energy demand and reliance on fossil fuels, the study predicted, California would have to import more fuel, exposing the economy to less stable prices. On the other hand, using clean sources for half the state's electric power while increasing efficiency by 1.5 percent each year would create 500,000 new jobs with a $100 billion payroll, the study found." See full article.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pew Study: Much Higher Growth Rate in Green Jobs In All 50 States

A new study finds, that even without major policy and public investment support, the green job sector is growing faster that the overall economy.

"Between 1998 and 2007, its jobs grew at a faster rate than overall jobs. Like all other sectors, the clean energy economy has been hit by the recession, but investments in clean technology have fared far better in the past year than venture capital overall.

By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for about 770,000 jobs that achieve the double bottom line of economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Pew’s research shows that between 1998 and 2007, clean energy economy jobs—a mix of whiteand blue-collar positions, from scientists and engineers to electricians, machinists and teachers—grew by 9.1 percent, while total jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. And although we expect job growth in the clean energy economy to have declined in 2008, experts predict the drop in this sector will be less severe than the drop in U.S. jobs overall." See full article.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

European Study: 2.8 Million Renewable Energy Jobs by 2020

In a sharp contrast with the debated conclusions of Dr. Gabriel Calzada of Spain -- in his assertion that reneable energy policy will cost Europe jobs, a European Commission report tells a very different story.

Renewable Energy Magazine reports:

"The main conclusion of a European Commission's study on the impact of renewable energy policy on economic growth and employment in the European Union (Employ-RES) published last week is that reaching 2020 renewable energy targets is expected to lead to around 2.8 million jobs in the renewable energy sector and generate total value added of approximately 1.1% of GDP." See full article and access report.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Carbon Salary Survey: Climate Change Workers Feel Job Security

A recent Reuters survey found that workers expect the problem of climate change to offer job security. (Photo: Building and Woodworking International)

BNET Energy reports:

"The first-ever Carbon Salary Survey, conducted by Reuters, found 68 percent of green workers polled have an increased sense of job security as governments and businesses react to the threat of climate change. In short, they expect climate change to be a problem and a priority for awhile. Of the 1,200 people polled, the survey found the average green collar worker makes $76,000 per year, with half receiving bonuses. U.S.-based workers had the highest average pay at $100,000. Salaries in the financial and legal sectors of the climate change industry were the highest at $116,000 and folks working in marketing, public relations or media had the lowest average salaries at $58,000. All-in-all it sounds pretty good.

The picture isn’t quite as positive or clear for folks looking for green manufacturing jobs. The University of California Berkeley has estimated renewable energy could create as many as 4 million new jobs." See full article.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Study: Energy Storage Market Will Grow Ten-fold in 10 Years

Practical and effective ways to store utility-scale energy were thought to be a dream just a few years ago. But a set of new technologies are changing all of that according to a recent study.

North American Wind Power reports:

"While storing electricity was once thought a practical impossibility, a variety of technologies have now emerged to disprove that theory, and the global energy-storage market is poised to grow from $329 million in 2008 to $4.1 billion by 2018, according to a new report from Pike Research.

One major challenge is that, unlike renewable energy, energy storage technologies have historically received very little support in the form of government subsidies and incentives, which has slowed development. This is beginning to change, however, and utilities will be the beneficiaries of significant U.S. government and venture capital investment in advanced batteries for the transportation sector, according to the research.
Pike Research's study, "Energy Storage Technology Markets," analyzes the opportunity for several key technology categories, including advanced batteries, pumped hydro, compressed air, flow batteries and frequency regulation for utility-scale applications." See full article.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Michigan's Green Job Sector: More Recession Resistant

The first empirical green jobs report for Michigan found it is a growing part of the State's economy and has grown when other sectors lost ground.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

"Michigan currently has 109,067 private-sector green jobs, including 96,767 direct jobs and 12,300 support jobs. Already, green jobs make up 3% of private-sector employment.

From 2005 to 2008, a sample of 358 green-related firms added more than 2,500 jobs. They grew by 7.7% at a time when Michigan's overall private-sector employment shrank 5.4%.
Among renewable energy firms in this sample, the growth rate hit 30%. Renewable energy production, which today is Michigan's smallest green sector, may be the fastest growing.
There's more good news: The green economy appears to be a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. Among the sample of 358 green-related firms, more than 70 appeared to be newly created since 2005, accounting for nearly 600 new jobs." See full article.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Boise's New Green Job "Incubator" is Part of Economic Recovery Plan

The success of a start-up business incubator in Boise has given rise to the launch of a new green business incubator focused on alternative energy.

Idaho Business Review reports:

"Boise Mayor Dave Bieter announced the creation of a new business incubator to support local alternative energy startups during his State of the City address...
The 'Green House,' which will occupy a soon-to-be-vacant city-owned building at 5th and Idaho streets, will offer office space and support services like free legal and accounting help for start-up green businesses. The city hopes to begin the project later this year. Bieter highlighted Mark Rivers’ WaterCooler business incubator project, which he called “an enormous success,” as a model to grow new businesses.
Bieter highlighted Mark Rivers’ WaterCooler business incubator project, which he called “an enormous success,” as a model to grow new businesses during his speech at the Boise Centre on the Grove. The WaterCooler, a 10,000-square-foot facility at 1401 W. Idaho St., now houses about a half-dozen startup companies after opening in May 2008." See full article.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Architecture 2030's Plan For A 14-to-1 Return On Stimulus Dollars

Ed Mazria, Founder of the organization Architecture 2030, and his colleagues have developed a plan for getting an $14 return on every $1 expended in stinulus funds.

In the publication, Architecture Week, he reports:

"We call it the "14x Stimulus" plan. In order to capture the job-creation and private-spending potential of the private building sector, this plan encourages households off the sidelines and into the renovation and home-buying market. The proposal recommends using state and local stimulus money to create a local mortgage buy-down program that offers reduced mortgage interest rates contingent upon renovating or building to meet specific energy-reduction targets." See full article.

Minnesota Looking at More Than 30,000 New Green Jobs

Minnesota stands to profit from investment in energy efficiency and freedom from an oil import trade deficit.

The Duluth News Tribune reports:

"We can make our homes and businesses so efficient they use zero-net energy. Wind and solar power can meet our remaining energy needs. We can travel in American-made, plug-in, hybrid cars that can go 100 miles on one gallon of gas. Transforming our energy system would put thousands of Minnesotans to work in good green jobs. There are jobs building wind turbines and jobs installing solar panels and jobs weatherizing homes.

A recent report estimated that a national investment of $100 billion in clean energy infrastructure over a two-year period would generate more than 37,000 jobs in Minnesota. The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act set aside $80 billion for clean energy. And the new budget sets aside more. See full article.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Center for American Progress Assessment of Green Job Creation

About a year ago the Center for American Progress releasesd a report of how the green economy would foster new employment opportunities.

It reports:

"We present data on employment conditions in 12 separate states: Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. For each of the 12 states, we report the number of people who are employed in each of the occupations that will be affected by our six green economy strategies, and what the average wages are in each state for each of these job types. We then also provide data on the national employ-ment picture for each of the job categories we examine.

What is clear from this report is that millions of U.S. workers—across a wide range of familiar occupations, states, and income and skill levels—will all benefit from the project of defeating global warming and transforming the United States into a green economy." Download full report.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Utilities Can Save Energy and Create Jobs

A 2007 assessment of return on investment by gas and electric untilties indicates nearly 300,000 new jobs per year can be generated through energy efficiency.

World Watch Institute reports:

"The U.S. National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPEE), is a national commitment to energy efficiency by more than 50 leading U.S. gas and electric utilities, utility regulators, and partner organizations. NAPEE estimates that if utilities were to invest roughly $7 billion a year in energy efficiency, this would -- yield annual savings to consumers of some $22 billion by 2017. These investment levels would result in the creation of about 298,000 jobs annually." See full article.

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Wind Farm Creates 300 Steady Jobs and Powers 250,000 Homes

A new on-land wind farm in Scotland created 300 new permanent jobs.

eGovMonitor.com reports:

"During its initial construction, the windfarm employed more than 500 people and ploughed £300 million investment directly into the Scottish economy. The benefits of this investment go beyond South Lanarkshire and beyond our real economy. It is an investment in Scotland's potential and ambition to lead the clean, green energy revolution. See full article.