Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Renewable Energy News, July 13, 2011

Green jobs pay better as clean-tech sector booms
The green jobs movement is putting more greenbacks in workers' pockets.

Clean-tech jobs offered median wages 20% higher across the United States in 2010, according to a report released today from researchers Brookings and Battelle. Such green jobs span industries ranging from solar-panel manufacturers to wind- and ocean-based energy production to electric-vehicle technologies.

The report on positions in 100 U.S. cities highlights a job boom in the sector that now counts 2.7 million jobs. The Brookings Institution figures the industry contributed exported goods and services valued at $53.9 billion in 2009.

The report points to a growing industry of opportunities fueled by public and private backing of cleaner forms of energy that promise environmental benefits.

U.S. clean-tech jobs surged 8.3% per year, compared with 4.2% a year for other occupations during the 2003-2010 period studied.
California leads nation in 'green jobs,' study says
California continued to lead the nation in the number of people with "green jobs," according to a study that looked at the growing influence of the so-called clean economy.

Nearly 320,000 people in the state work in such jobs as installing solar panels, making electric vehicles and running organic farms, the study by the Brookings Institution found. A little less than one-third, or about 90,000 of those jobs, are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, it said.

Nationwide, the clean economy — characterized as goods and services with an environmental benefit — employs 2.7 million people. That's more than the fossil fuel industry, the study researchers said.

"No swath of the economy has been more widely celebrated as a source of economic renewal and potential job creation," the report said.
$130M Rollins Mountain wind project in Maine almost ready
If you’re traveling in the Lincoln Lakes region and you see the 40 turbines of the Rollins Mountain industrial wind site turning with the wind, be advised: They are not yet generating electricity.

But they are almost ready to.

With 37 of its 40 Rollins turbines successfully tested and commissioned, officials from First Wind of Massachusetts will be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the project site off Route 6 near Lee on July 20 to formally launch the state’s first wind site that will generate electricity for Maine’s utility ratepayers, officials said Tuesday. Testing of the remaining three turbines is ongoing.

“Essentially, the project is about 98 percent completed, and some final punch-list items remain — things like finishing up work in the operations and maintenance building and finishing work on some of the roads,” said John Lamontagne, First Wind’s spokesman.

Disclosure: Dunkiel Saunders represents First Wind in a separate wind project.
‘NetZero’ aims to cut greenhouse gases on military bases
A Senate committee is endorsing a Defense Department program that aims to combine new building designs, energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources to reduce the net output of greenhouse gases on military installations to zero.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s biggest worry is that the concept is so ambitious that it will be difficult to complete. The committee wants an assessment from the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, on the chances of success, and whether Congress can do anything to help.

All of the services are involved in a partnership with the Energy Department in the so-called NetZero program, which by 2020 aims to have six Army bases producing as much energy and water as they consume, while sending no solid waste to landfills. The goal is to have the entire Army at a “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions level by 2030.

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