The U.S. offshore wind industry could support as many as 58,000 jobs by 2030 if the country hits its renewable deployment goals, according to a new federal report that offers the most detailed assessment yet of the industry’s workforce needs.
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When we think about solving climate change, we often think about things that, in one way or another, plug into an electrical grid: Solar panels. Heat pumps. Efficient air conditioners. Wind turbines. Electric cars and electric car chargers. Induction stoves. Transmission lines.
About 40% of all energy jobs in the U.S. last year were aligned with the goal of bringing greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero, according to the U.S. Energy & Employment Report 2022 from the U.S. Department of Energy. Drilling down specifically into the electricity-generation and fuels sectors, carbon-free industries employed more than 630,000 people in 2021, according to analysis of the report’s figures by Climate Nexus, while dirty industries employed almost 980,000, and “mixed” industries, including biofuels like corn ethanol, employed more than 150,000.
As lead organizer for the Green Workers Alliance, Nico Ries (they/them) wants to make sure opportunities in clean energy continue to grow and that companies provide workers with fair wages and safe conditions.
“So often we see folks talking about, ‘Oh, we need better jobs,’ but it’s at the expense of climate, and then climate ignoring issues in labor,” Ries says. “So we’re really trying to be this kind of conduit between the two and saying, ‘No, we need to aggressively fight climate change, and we need to make sure that these are good-paying jobs.’”
CNBC’s Kate Rodgers joins “The Exchange” to share how the Inflation Reduction Act is fueling investor momentum for new jobs in climate and clean energy, specifically those involving software.
Reducing the workweek to four days could have a climate benefit, advocates say. In addition to improving the well-being of workers, they say slashing working hours may reduce carbon emissions.
It’s what you might call a “potential triple-dividend policy, so something that can benefit the economy, society and also the environment,” said Joe O’Connor, chief executive of the nonprofit group 4 Day Week Global. “There are not many policy interventions that are available to us that could potentially have the kind of transformative impact that reduced work time could have.”
The clean energy industry is booming. And companies need more licensed electricians who can install solar panels, electric vehicle chargers, battery storage, and more. Vaughan Woodruff is director of workforce development at New England-based ReVision Energy. He says the workforce needs to grow quickly in size and diversity.
Much of the fossil fuel industry continued to hemorrhage jobs last year, even as employment in the electric car sector increased dramatically, according to a report today from the Department of Energy.
A recent McKinsey report found that reaching net zero by 2050 could entail a 60 percent increase in capital spending on physical assets, compared with current levels. The required investments amount to $9.2 trillion per year until 2050, of which $6.5 trillion annually would go into low-emissions assets and enabling infrastructure. Our analysis also shows that growing demand for net-zero offerings could generate more than $12 trillion of annual sales by 2030 across 11 value pools, including transport ($2.3 trillion to $2.7 trillion per year), power ($1.0 trillion to $1.5 trillion), and hydrogen ($650 billion to $850 billion) (Exhibit 1). Such a transformation of the global economy could create significant growth potential for climate technologies and solutions.
This map compiles ZETA research to illustrate EV investments across the country. These private investments are creating tens of thousands of good-paying auto jobs that will reinvigorate communities, generating thousands of additional indirect jobs. And these investments aren’t the only financial benefits that will derive from electrifying the transportation sector: because of the climate and public health benefits of transportation electrification, achieving 100% EV sales by 2030 and a cleaner grid will prevent $1.3 trillion in health and environmental costs in the coming decades.