tagged w/ Green Jobs
"Despite the unpopularity of using most crops for biofuel sources, jatropha, an inedible plant, is getting a boost in popularity. The oily seeds of the bushy plant are used to create biodiesel, and nearly 2.5 million acres have been planted so far in India, one of the world’s largest producers. In fact, it is one of the most popular biodiesel crops around because harvesters can get a large output of oil from the seeds (producing four times as much fuel as soy, and 10 times as much as corn) while needing to put in only minimal care and resources for growth.""Despite the unpopularity of using most crops for biofuel sources, jatropha, an... more
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has announced Top Ten rankings that reveal which utilities in the United States had the most solar electricity integrated into their energy mix as of the end of 2007. The rankings are based on information provided through a survey of utilities and independent research.
"Based on recent announcements and internal discussions with utilities, SEPA anticipates that utilities will quickly become the largest and one of the most important customers for the solar industry," said Julia Hamm, SEPA executive director.
"Whether solar electric systems are developed by utilities, their customers, or solar companies, the utilities' proactive engagement with emerging solar technologies is important to the solar industry as a whole. This market survey and resulting rankings provide a baseline against which increased utility activity can be measured in the future."
For total solar electric capacity by megawatt (MW), Southern California Edison (CA) takes top honors as the most solar integrated utility with the most overall solar capacity (MW) and solar capacity per customer (MW/customer).
Southern California Edison's long-standing contracts with the SEGS concentrating solar thermal (CST) plants drive its large number of solar megawatts. However, with a number of recent large-scale CST announcements by several other utilities, Southern California Edison's top ranking may no longer hold once these new plants are constructed.
California-with its long-standing policies for solar market development-represents the majority of the highest rankings, but utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin also make the top ten in many categories.
Solar markets are expanding rapidly beyond California and when standardized by the number of customers, interesting results will continue to emerge in the coming years. Next year's survey and report will be based on 2008 data and will be published in early 2009. It will no doubt show a reordering of many of these rankings as the solar markets change.
In the last year, U.S. electric utilities' engagement with grid-connected solar electricity increased significantly, with major photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal (CST) announcements by utilities, their customers, and third-party solar developers.
"What has become apparent however is that over the next few years, there will be an unprecedented level of new utility engagement in the solar industry that develops both centralized and distributed systems in new and unique ways. Several U.S. utilities, some of whom aren't in these rankings yet, are positioning themselves to be the solar industries largest and most innovative customers."
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has announced Top Ten rankings that reveal... more
Solar Energy International (SEI), the non-profit pioneer in renewable energy and sustainable building programs, reports a booming trend in popularity of its renewable energy courses.
Throughout the company's 18-year history of providing educational programs to consumers and industry experts, the past year has garnered a record number of registrants, resulting in a 14 percent increase in enrollment in SEI's Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP).
Demand is high for renewable energy experts: employers are seeking a workforce skilled in the field, people are eager to be trained to enter the industry and consumers are enthusiastic to learn how to make their homes more green.
In efforts to accommodate the demand, SEI increased this year's course offerings by adding five additional in-person PV (photovoltaic/solar electric) workshops and one additional online PV course compared to 2007.
Despite the increased number of participants as a result of the additional classes, SEI's waiting-lists have hit record highs for the 2008 PV workshops. This year alone, 1,700 people have already signed up for SEI's workshops and online courses.
In total, an anticipated 300 more people will take the company's renewable energy workshops and online courses in 2008 than in 2007, representing a 14 percent spike in enrollment in SEI courses overall.
"From a global perspective, solar energy has been - and continues to be - an important commodity. The increase in demand is reflective of the changing state of the world's energy resources," said Johnny Weiss, executive director of Solar Energy International.
"The world is so eager for trained renewable energy professionals that students often get hired while still completing our programs. This is a very exciting time for the industry and the environment."
We can do this.Solar Energy International (SEI), the non-profit pioneer in renewable energy and... more
BioSolar has been cited in recent news media reports exploring the increasing demand for bio-based solar cell components, which will help the entire industry make photovoltaic solar cells more financially viable by substantially lowering the cost of the cells through the use of petroleum-free materials.
In this week's CLEANTECH column in energy trade publication California Energy Circuit, (CLEANTECH: Making Solar Power Fossil Free), energy correspondent William J. Kelly discusses the concept of life-cycle testing - utilizing the entire life-cycle of a product and its components to determine its total carbon footprint - noting that solar cells generate 0.04 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kilowatt of electricity generated.
The article goes on to note that clean energy researchers see that level declining dramatically due to improvements in the materials used to make the solar cells.
"This article recognizes that BioSolar's BioBacksheet is quickly becoming a driving force in a shift to replace plastic petroleum-based solar cell components with environmentally-friendlier fossil-free ones derived from plant-based products," said Dr. David Lee, CEO of BioSolar.
Solar power is peace.BioSolar has been cited in recent news media reports exploring the increasing demand... more
Many of the US workers currently suffering as a result of the recent economic downturn possess the very skills that will be required to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.
That is the conclusion of a major new report released yesterday by a coalition of labour and environmental groups, which advocates a significant increase in clean tech investment as a means of tackling unemployment, enhancing wages and delivering low carbon infrastructure.
"This report demonstrates that the quickest way to put Americans back to work is through investments in solving global warming," said Dave Foster, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance. "The jobs we'll create are the very jobs our country is losing in the current recession."
The report, titled Job Opportunities for the Green Economy, looked at six cleantech sectors – building retrofitting, mass transit, fuel-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power and cellulosic biomass fuels – and concluded that 45 occupations employing over 14 million people across the US could benefit from increased investment in green measures.
The report also studied employment conditions in 12 states – Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin – and found that many of the skills required to build low carbon infrastructure were already in place.
For those in America looking to move out of poverty, this just may well be the answer. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in regards to alleviating poverty in America, call on representatives to open up markets in clean energy alternatives (rather than coal and nuclear which are becoming stagnated and are dangerous and unhealthy) that will bring new, innovative, and challenging green jobs to America that will not only address the climate crisis, but bring an economic recovery that also addresses so many of the societal and health problems we now face in this country. Many of the US workers currently suffering as a result of the recent economic downturn... more
California's fascination with solar power has created thousands of jobs in the state and will probably add thousands more, according to a new survey of the industry.
The survey, by two community college researchers, estimates that solar companies in California now employ between 16,500 and 17,500 people and may hire another 5,000 in the next year.
Many of those new jobs will be in the Bay Area. The region already has between 6,900 and 8,000 solar jobs and could add 1,900 more in the next 12 months, the researchers found.
Most of the job opportunities will be on the roof, not in the lab. The industry desperately needs people to install rooftop solar arrays, as more Californians plant photovoltaic panels on their homes. And that represents a great opportunity for community colleges, whose students could be prime candidates for the work, said survey co-author John Carrese. The industry also has openings for designers and salespeople.
"You don't need a Ph.D. or a B.A. to get into this industry," Carrese said. "It's an opportunity to rebuild the working-class jobs that have been lost."
Salaries vary by the type of job and the level of experience. Entry-level solar installers, for example, make a median salary of $31,200 per year, while their more seasoned colleagues earn $60,000. Experienced solar designers and engineers earn a median salary of $83,000.
"These are good jobs," Carrese said. "You can support a family on them."
Hopefully as California goes, so goes the nation.California's fascination with solar power has created thousands of jobs in the... more
When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refused in late 2007 to grant California the waiver it needs to require automakers to slash emissions, young people and college students responded. Fifty Michigan students rallied at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, demanding a clean energy economy with sustainable transportation as the centerpiece. The students marched through downtown Detroit dressed in green hard hats and blue coveralls — a dynamic symbol of the reinvigorating potential of green jobs and energy-efficient auto manufacturing for Michigan’s economy.
As a result of the effort, GM agreed to host a series of town hall meetings on fuel economy and next generation vehicles. What’s more, participating students learned valuable skills for effecting change — training that will prepare them for careers in the low-carbon economy. Rally organizers from the Rainforest Action Network and Global Exchange taught participants how to write press releases, attract media attention, build alliances, lead effectively and campaign positively. Students from various campus groups also networked, sharing information and advice.
Driven by an urgent desire to be part of the climatechange solution, the generation that first taught its parents how to recycle is leading a revolution. Savvy and skilled in social networking and communications, young people are demanding a transition from polluting conventional energy to the new, renewable energy economy. And with tremendous influence over their campuses, students in particular are changing the operations of these multibillion-dollar organizations — and beyondWhen the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refused in late 2007 to grant California... more
In states like Pennsylvania, where voters will cast ballots this Tuesday, and in West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Montana — upcoming primary states — coal sways voters.
While increased mechanization has produced a dramatic decline in coal industry employment, the numbers remain substantial. There are 47,000 coal workers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and 21,000 in Kentucky, according to the National Mining Association. The three states are the country's biggest coal producers after Wyoming.
Both Obama and Clinton have rallied environmentalists with their promises to develop windmills, solar power and other renewable energy sources and order mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases from power plants to counter global warming.
It's an energy policy that would seem to target coal, which produces half the country's electricity but also nearly 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, each year.
Instead, "clean coal" has become the mantra of both candidates. Some environmentalists are not too happy with that.
"They keep using the term 'clean coal.' That's really an oxymoron," snaps Brent Blackwelder, president of the environmental group Friends of the Earth. "They absolutely are pandering the coal industry's propaganda that clean coal is the hope of the future. There's no such animal as clean coal."
Not all environmentalists are as critical, acknowledging that coal will remain an integral part of the country's energy picture. The two Democratic presidential aspirants' support for coal is outweighed by their strong push for renewable fuels and — unlike President Bush — their call for mandatory, economy-wide action on climate change.
"How they finesse things on the margin is up to them," said Cathy Duvall, the Sierra Club's national political director, as long as they also "talk about moving away from conventional coal ... and putting money into and investing in a renewable energy economy that will provide jobs."
Obama, by representing Illinois, a top 10 coal producing state, has a little more experience at it than Clinton. Fifteen months ago, he joined Republican coal-state Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky in calling for loan guarantees and tax breaks for coal-to-liquid processing plants.
Environmentalists protested and he modified his proposal to include a requirement that such plants have carbon-capture technology and produce 20 percent less greenhouse gases than conventional diesel fuel refineries.
In reality, there is little difference in the broad energy agendas of Obama and Clinton.
In states like Pennsylvania, where voters will cast ballots this Tuesday, and in West... more