The American Solar Energy Association is forecasting an increase of jobs in the alternative energy and energy efficiency markets in the US. They expect to see an estimated 500,000 new jobs created in calendar year 2009 by the addition of solar manufacturing capacity in the US, increased activity in contracting and installing solar electric systems and a variety of other activities. I didn’t get the exact methodology of the estimate. I take their word for it.
The American Wind Energy Association has similar things to say about increased employment as a result of the expanison of wind energy manufacturing capacity, testing, installation, service, etc. 55 new manufacturing facilities have been created in the US. I know Colorado claims to have added 2500 new jobs in the wind energy industry.
Green jobs are here. More green jobs are coming.
Let’s do some math. The Department of Labor Statistics reports the increase in unemployment for August 2009 was 466,000 jobs. That’s primarily new unemployment filings thoughout the US. I know Texas announced job losses of 62,000 last month, the highest number of job losses in a long time.
The executive branch has tried to point to the reduced rate of job losses from previous monthly highs in the 600,000+ job losses per month to the current 466,000 of job losses per month as a sign of improvement in the economy. As if a mere 466,000 jobs lost in August is somehow encouraging.
And similarly, there is a lot of political rhetoric about the green economy creating and replacing the jobs that the US economy is losing and jobs that “are never coming back”.
Let’s say, for the moment, that the new job creation is coming along as claimed and that there are 500,000+ new jobs as a result of all the alternative energy technology, wind and solar combined. That would only offset one month of the current rate of job losses.
We need a lot more going on to offset where we are today. Oil and Gas needs to be able to go out and drill for new supplies that we have available, like the BP find in the Gulf of Mexico that is the largest field in their history. Bringing back refining capacity to this country will involve thousands of jobs. Even if the use of gasoline declines over time with increasing numbers of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The creation of a new nuclear power industry using the latest reactor technology will require thousands of engineering and construction jobs and will bring new electrical capacity on line that is cleaner and more efficient than outdated coal fired plants.
A wholesale re-invention of the automotive industry to me would be a group of car companies that were serious about building the cars Americans want to buy, so we don’t have to buy from foreign suppliers. That would bring back a percentage of the huge job losses being experienced in the state of Michigan. With the trickle effect of glass, carpet, paint and electrical industries that supply to the automotives.
This would be the real complement to the “Green Revolution”. And part of the solution to the unemployment problem.