New Study: Green Energy Investment Could Deliver Millions of Jobs

Posted in May 2009

A new report released today by the Copenhagen Climate Council at the World Business Summit on Climate Change reveals that a firm commitment to low-carbon energy sources would create millions of sustainable new jobs in the United States alone.

Authored by Dan Kammen and Ditlev Engel, the report, Green Jobs and the Clean Energy Economy, demonstrates that appropriate policy frameworks and large-scale strategic investment in clean energy technologies will both spur greater employment than fossil fuel investment and pay dividends for the planet.

Based on a job-creation model developed at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, and featuring a case study of Danish wind power giant Vestas Wind Systems, the latest installment of the Council's Thought Leadership Series provides analytical support for solutions that promote clean sources of energy and job creation simultaneously.

The report reveals a combination of policy scenarios that demonstrate that renewable energy investment and energy efficiency measures can generate 2 to 8 times more jobs per unit of energy delivered than the fossil fuel-based sector. Green Jobs further indicates that in the United States alone a national Renewable Portfolio Standard of 25% in 2025 coupled with a 0.5% annual electricity growth rate would generate more than 2 million jobs, and further increasing low-carbon sources by around 50% would generate more than 3 million jobs. This would result in a massive 90% of U.S. electricity supply coming from renew­able or low-carbon sources.

"This report dramatically illustrates the growth and real employment power of green energy jobs not just in the future, but today. Who would not want to replace foreign debt for energy for investing in a trained and innovative workforce?," says Professor and Co-Director of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment Daniel M. Kammen.

The report highlights the pivotal role that the public sector must play if we are to de-carbonize our electricity supply and embark on a sustainable path. An example of this is the E.U.'s consistent record of progressive regulation that has spurred decades of innovation.

One such example of entrepreneurial sustainability is Vestas' visionary investment in green tech. Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas, explains: "This report shows once again that the wind energy industry provides jobs on a massive scale and engenders economic development. The recipe for growth and sustainability is very simple: long-term commitments for greenhouse gas emission reductions plus investment in power generation infrastructure.

"This will drive the market on a sustainable business platform; at Vestas we call that simply – Modern Energy," he adds. In 2005, Vestas employed 10,000 people worldwide. Today, this number has risen to nearly 20,000 employees in 62 countries."[tt_news]=198&tx_ttnews[backPid]=4&cHash=b9a8f547d0

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