Need a job? Check out renewable energy

The renewable energy industry is adding jobs at twice the national rate.

06/11/2009


 

The AP reports, "The fledgling renewable energy industry has grown steadily over

much of the past decade, adding jobs at more than twice the national

rate," a recent study from the Pew Charitable Trusts indicates, with "solar and wind-power companies, energy-efficient light

bulb makers, environmental engineering firms and others [expanding] their work

force by 9.1% from 1998 to 2007, the latest year available."

In contrast, "the

average job growth in all industries was 3.7% during the same period."

However, "the Pew study does not include employment data from the past 18

months, a volatile period for the energy industry" that has seen a number

of large companies lay off workers or go bankrupt. And even prior to that,

clean energy jobs have not necessarily "kept pace with overall job

losses." Still, officials say, "the report shows that the clean

energy sector has proven itself sustainable."

The New York Times reported a Greenwire story that "the

'clean-energy economy' grew 9.1% between 1998 and 2007 to 777,000 jobs. While

that is just half a% of all U.S. jobs, the clean-energy economy is poised to

grow significantly with financial support from the public and private

sectors," according to the study's authors. One Pew official said,

"The nation's clean-energy economy is poised for explosive growth."

She added, "The trends include surging venture capital investment...a

critical growth rate in clean-energy generation, energy efficiency, and

environmentally friendly products."

The Los Angeles Times reports, "The new jobs pay anywhere from $21,000 to $111,000 a year for

various positions including clerks, construction workers, skilled craftsmen,

and engineers. Fields that will need more workers include clean energy

production, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly manufacturing, and

conservation and pollution control." And, according to a separate UC

Berkeley study, "the expansion of the green jobs economy could continue to

pay dividends well into future ... Using more wind, solar, and other types of

renewable electricity could generate as many as 87,000 jobs in California by

2050, the study said."

Meanwhile, the UC Berkeley

researchers "found the renewable energy industry was more labor intensive

than traditional fossil-fuel businesses," the Wired Science blog noted. The Pew study "differs from government projections

or most industry association estimates in that it counts individual jobs, not

entire industries," leading to what its researchers call "the most

precise depiction to date" of green jobs. The researchers

"recommended a 'comprehensive, economy-wide energy plan' and implicitly

endorsed the President's stated desire to sign a climate and energy bill."

The Christian Science Monitor reports, "The highest number of green jobs is in California with 125,390 jobs. The lowest is

in Wyoming with

1,419. The Pew study found the national average for jobs for each state is

about 15,000."

 





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