The social impact of renewable energy

The social impact of renewable energy

AS WE head into 2014, let us take a look back into what 2013 had to offer the clean energy industry.
WE ALL know that renewable energy is good for the environment but many studies have been conducted reporting that renewable energy is also good for our economy. “Green jobs” are jobs that play a direct role in reducing the environmental impact of traditional energy sources. The renewable energy business is starting to grow and is creating jobs that cannot be out sourced. By creating local jobs we build a strong foundation for domestic stability and growth. This is especially needed as the world, not just the United States, is trying to recover from one of the most sever recessions in decades. Clean energy may just be the answer.

The United States has passed several acts and regulations to start shifting away from its dependency on fossil fuel and start using domestically produced clean energy. This shift will create jobs as the use of renewable energy increases. Workers will be needed to fill these newly created green jobs; many of these jobs would not need significant additional training and/or education. Not only can clean energy create jobs in its industry but as we shift away from fossil fuels the outdated and antiquated infrastructure will have to be replaced.

I read an article on that refers to a report from the American Solar Energy Society and Management Information Services Inc. This report states that, 4.5 million jobs will be created in the United States by 2030 if the government gets serious about undertaking climate change. This would take into account the numbers of jobs lost if the United States displaced around 1.2 billion tons of carbon emissions annually by 2030. This level of displaced carbon emissions is needed to stop the devastating effects of global warming and climate change.

The report also mentions that not only will the renewable energy industry benefit from more jobs, but so would other industries such as construction, manufacturing, metal fabrication, professional services, trucking and transporting, and farming. Renewable energy technologies are generally more labor intensive than traditional fossil fuel technologies. Solar, wind, and other fuel-free renewable energies jobs mostly come from the manufacturing, installing, and maintenance of these systems. Most jobs in the energy technologies that use renewable fuel sources come from farming feedstock and distribution of the biofuels that they create.

I found another article on that mentioned a report from the University of California. The report calculated that if the United States remains status quo with the current mix of energy we use today, there could be 86,370 jobs created by 2020. But if the United States were to increase energy that comes from renewable sources by 20 percent, the U.S. could expect anywhere from 188,000 to 240,850 new jobs created. This would depend on the mixture of renewable energy of solar, wind and biomass

This University of California report also states that more jobs are created by solar photovoltaic per megawatt than other energy technologies. About twenty manufacturing and 13 installation/manufacturing jobs are created per installed megawatt. Solar heating creates two to eight times more jobs than traditional power plants and solar PV creates 55 to 80 times more jobs than traditional power plants.

There are many more studies that show that renewable can be an industry that will help lower unemployment and help create a stronger economy. Overall, going green is not just to save our environment but it can save our economy. Green jobs are going to help build a better future for us all by creating a clean and healthy environment and jobs that will be around for years to come