Tag Archives: clean energy jobs

Power for America, Utility Workers Launch First-of-Its-Kind Renewable Energy Specialist Apprenticeship Program

Utility Workers Union of America News Release

The Power for America Training Trust Fund (P4A) and Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO have announced a unique, new union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Department of Labor (DOL)-certified, program provides individuals with specialized skills to remain at the forefront of the offshore and onshore wind, solar generation and battery storage fields.

“These are the jobs of the future and if we’re going to remain on the cutting edge of the energy industry, the skills we teach must reflect those of the ever-changing energy industry,” said Jon Harmon, P4A executive director. “This important program taps into P4A’s decade of success training and placing individuals in high-skilled positions that allow them to stand-out in the workplace and be placed in a good, family-supporting jobs.” Read more here.

ALSO IN THE NEWS 

EV NEWS

OPPD Laying The Groundwork For A Bright Energy Future

OPPD News Release

As the utility industry evolves, Omaha Public Power District continues to lead the way the future is powered. At their monthly board meeting today, the OPPD Board of Directors received a strategic planning update from President & CEO Timothy J. Burke. Burke outlined five new strategic initiatives that are the building blocks for the district’s 10-year strategic plan based on OPPD’s guiding principles. Initiatives will include a long-term study to address the long-term balance of load generation, along with decarbonization options for the district’s generation mix. Vice President Mary Fisher spoke to the topic, noting that the energy generation landscape is changing rapidly. Fisher said the drivers are primarily improving renewable technology, and environmental considerations around carbon emissions and climate change, “something our customers clearly care about.” Read the entire news release here.

Previously Posted – Neighboring States’ Decarbonization Models
A Vision for Midwest Zero-Carbon Power Starts to Take Shape, Natural Resources Defense Council
Renewable energy, especially in the wind-rich Midwest, is now the cheapest form of new power, coupled with the fact that natural gas prices remain at record lows. With these favorable market dynamics, Iowa has realized the greatest growth in the Midwest’s renewable energy portfolio in 2018 by generating 5x the amount of wind and solar the state produced ten years ago. However, as observed in NRDC’s previous analysis, to achieve our climate goals and deliver the full suite of clean energy benefits (while avoiding a rush to natural gas-fired power), market forces will not be enough.  Keeping up the current momentum will require strong state, utility, and local commitment to the clean energy transition. And the good news is that Midwest states and utilities are increasingly showing remarkable leadership on that front.

Clean Tech Jobs Lead Employment Statistics In Many US States

By Steve Hanley, CleanTechnica

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and projections from the Projections Managing Partnership, Yahoo Finance has charted which jobs are in high demand in all 50 US states. It says solar panel installer is the fastest growing job in eight different states — California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, and New Jersey. According to the BLS, that job is known as a “PV installer” . . . In Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa, wind turbine service technicians are in high demand. Read more here.

FEATURED NEBRASKA PROGRAM

Nebraska Community College GAP Assistance Program
The program, which began July 1, 2016, receives 9% of the available Nebraska Lottery funds set aside for education each year. Gap Program funds are distributed to the state’s six community colleges, which recruit and select eligible low-income students in eligible programs to receive grants.

Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission For Postsecondary Education administers the program, which is under the direction of the Nebraska Community College Student Performance and Occupational Education Grant Committee.

Student grants may be used for tuition, direct training costs, required books and equipment, and fees. Eligible programs include renewable energy. Visit the website to learn more about the program.

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Central City, others honored for community development efforts, by Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald
Central City, Nebraska, was honored Monday by Gov. Pete Ricketts as the state’s 2019 “Showcase Community” for its economic development efforts, which include continuing local business growth and use of solar energy. The award was given during a press conference marking “Economic Development Week” in the state.
 

An Illinois bill leans into the most contentious part of the Green New Deal

Illinois is weighing a 100 percent renewable energy bill that includes jobs, equity, and social justice

Written by Umair Irfan, Vox

Illinois’s general assembly is weighing a bill that sets an aggressive target of decarbonizing the state’s energy by 2030 and running the state completely on renewable energy by 2050. That includes deploying more than 40 million solar panels and 2,500 wind turbines alongside $20 billion in new infrastructure over the next decade. The bill also calls for cutting emissions from transportation and for vastly expanding the clean energy workforce.

But it also leans into many of the social justice ideas outlined in the Green New Deal resolution. “In the wake of federal reversals on climate action, the State of Illinois should pursue immediate action on policies that will ensure a just and responsible phase out of fossil fuels from the power sector to reduce harmful emissions from Illinois power plants, support power plant communities and workers, and allow the clean energy economy to continue growing in every corner of Illinois,” according to the text of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 2132/ HB 3624).
Read more here.

About the Writer
Umair Irfan covers climate change, energy, and the environment for Vox. He is also a contributor to Science Friday. Before joining Vox, Umair was a reporter for ClimateWire at E&E News in Washington, DC, where he covered health and climate change, science, and energy policy. In 2016, he received a Sasakawa Peace Foundation fellowship to report on Japan’s
energy sector, economy, and culture. In 2014, he was awarded the Arthur F. Burns fellowship to cover Germany’s energy transition.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Catalyzing Clean Energy Innovation

By Jackie Wong and Arjun Krishnaswami, Natural Resources Defense Council

Clean energy is not a futuristic notion but rather a present reality. It already supports more than 3 million U.S. jobs for people of different skill sets and education levels. It also has become clear that clean energy can advance economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, AND energy security. Utilities’ commitments like those from Xcel Energy to eliminate carbon
emissions from its power plants and from Southern Company to be low- to no-carbon—both by 2050—are just some of the many signals that fully embracing clean energy is not only necessary and doable, but also an accelerating trend increasingly backed by businesses. Read more here.

Image: Pixabay / Public Domain

Also Published by NRDC: New Mexico Embraces Transition to 100% Clean Energy

ADDITIONAL 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


Green energy group aims to move Illinois toward 100 percent renewable energy, DeKalb Daily Chronicle

State Rep. Davis plans to introduce ‘Path to 100’ bill
within two weeks.

MORE RENEWABLE ENERGY NEWS


UNI offers incentive for solar panels, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier


In a push for more clean energy in Black Hawk County, experts from University of Northern Iowa are offering a smooth transition from using coal-fired power to naturally renewable solar energy . . . The “Go Solar” group-buy program gives businesses, farms and residents in Black Hawk County the opportunity to take advantage of reduced energy costs and join the increasing number of Iowans who are going solar and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Weatherization program pays off in long-term savings

McCook Gazette Editorial

Unfortunately, people who would benefit the most from lower energy bills often cannot afford the improvements to achieve them. That’s where the Nebraska Weatherization Assistance Program comes in. Tuesday is Weatherization Day in Nebraska, spotlighting an effort that has been weatherizing homes for low-income and elderly citizens for more than 42 years.

Eight non-profit community service providers operate the program. Since the Weatherization Assistance Program began, over $204 million went to make energy efficiency improvements in more than 68,800 Nebraska homes affecting the lives of thousands of Nebraskans, many of who are elderly, disabled, and families with children. Learn more here.

NEWS FROM OTHER STATES

Photo: Walmart Rooftop Solar 

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS & TRAINING PROGRAMS 

RESEARCH

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University want to push solar panel lifespans to 50 years, Solar Power World. A team of solar energy researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has been awarded $1.35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office to continue its work toward increasing the efficiency and lifetime of photovoltaic modules—specifically aimed at pushing their lifespan to 50 years.

FEATURED VIDEO

What Happens in the Arctic Doesn’t Stay in the Arctic is a six-minute video produced by the Aspen Global Change Institute. 

SEIA Raises Doubts About Trump Administration’s Proposed Climate Rule

Solar Energy Industries Association Media Release 

“With or without this new proposal, solar will continue to grow, power the economy and provide the clean energy that consumers want and the grid needs. When you combine low-cost and low-carbon with technology that continues to get smarter, you can compete in any market and under any regulatory regime. We pledge to work constructively with the administration to develop policies that help American consumers, add American jobs and protect the planet.”  – Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on the Trump administration’s proposal to revise the Clean Power Plan.

Read the entire release here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

Record wind farm construction underway at close of second quarter

American Wind Energy Association News Release

U.S. wind farms surpass 90 GW with strong demand from Fortune 500 brands and utilities.

WASHINGTON — A record amount of wind energy capacity is now under construction at wind farms across America, according to second quarter results released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Strong demand for low-cost wind power from utilities and other buyers, including major corporations like AT&T and Walmart this quarter, continues to drive the industry’s growth.

“Wind power’s job creating engine just kicked into a higher gear,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “And all Americans will benefit as the record number of wind farms under construction begin delivering new revenue to rural communities and affordable homegrown energy to consumers.” Read the entire news release here.

Download AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2018 Market Report

SMALL AND COMMUNITY WIND ENERGY NEWS & RESOURCES

NEWS RELEASE: AWEA hires Jennifer Jenkins to launch national distributed wind program

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED WEEKEND READING

SEPA EV RESOURCES

Nebraska renewable energy company looks to expand to Aledo, Illinois

By Katrina Lamansky, WQAD

ALEDO, Illinois — A Nebraska company is looking to expand its renewable energy capabilities into the Quad Cities area. The company, Bluestem Energy Solutions reached out to city leaders in Aledo, Illinois to explore the possibility of installing a wind or solar farm in the area. According to Chicago Tribune, new state requirements and incentives have peaked the interest in renewable energy developers. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bluestem Energy Solutions

The Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, now in effect, is an outstanding, innovative clean energy initiative that will likely attract the attention of more and more renewable energy developers in the months and years ahead. 

The Act Will:

  • Substantially expand energy efficiency programs to drive customer savings and also expand options for commercial, industrial, and low-income customers.
  • Commit up to $750 million for low-income communities to save money and help them benefit from clean energy.
  • Protect 4,200 jobs and preserve $1.2 billion in economic activity annually.
  • Strengthen and expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard to ensure stable, predictable funding for renewable development, providing $180M per year – growing to $220M per
    year – in funding for renewable resources
    , including new wind power, large-scale solar power, and rooftop and community solar.
  • Position Illinois as a leader in zero-carbon electricity.
  • Provide job training and create thousands of clean energy jobs in energy efficiency, energy innovation, and renewable power industries.
  • Protect consumers through a 25-cent monthly cost impact cap for residential customers through 2030 and a 1.3% cap for business customers.

To learn more, visit: FutureEnergyJobsAct.com

Trump’s Solar Tariffs Go Into Effect Today. So What?

Joshua Rhodes, Contributor, Forbes

While it’s true that there is likely to be some short-term pain for solar PV installers, and the tariffs may well cost some solar PV installation jobs (currently the fast-growing job in the U.S., which could take a 23,000-job hit), this reduction is likely to be jobs that would have been created in the near future but now will not be, not layoffs of current installers.

If we look at what the tariff will add to the cost of electricity produced by new utility-scale solar PV across the U.S., it appears that, given the three factors noted [in the article], the cost will be $1-$2/MWh ($0.001-$0.002/kWh) higher than it would have been, depending on location. For residential PV, the pain will be even lower because the panels themselves make up less of the total overall cost of the entire system. Read more here.

Joshua D. Rhodes, PhD is a Research Fellow at the Energy Institute and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin.

Flickr Photo: Solar power in the California Desert

Currently-Available Incentives
Taking into consideration presently-available incentives such as the 30% federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which is also time-sensitive; the immediate depreciation of equipment allowed businesses in the new tax law; LES’s Customer-Owned Generation capacity payments: These and other incentives put solar tariffs into greater perspective, especially when evaluating the cost of solar over the long-term.

Nebraska and Iowa Databases of Incentives

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READINGSUSTAINABLE BRANDS
Clean Energy Jobs Now Outnumber Coal, Gas Jobs in 30 US States

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have a unique role to play in both focusing corporate energy and also influencing culture. We seek to enable the success of better brands that are helping shift the world to a sustainable economy by helping them embed environmental and social innovation into the DNA of their business so that sustainability becomes a core driver of business and brand value.