The renewable energy industry and its proponents regularly draw attention to the industry’s job creation potential. For example, the American Wind Energy Association reported that the US wind industry supported 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, a 20% increase in one year. The Solar Foundation announced there were over 260,000 solar workers in 2016, which was a 25% increase over the prior year. By contrast, the coal extraction employed only 74,000 workers in 2016, and coal power plants employed another 86,000 workers.
The creation of so-called “green jobs,” such as those in wind and solar, is often cited as a justification for promoting renewable energy through tax credits, renewable portfolio standards and net energy metering.
I recently had the privilege to moderate a panel discussion on green jobs at the Berkeley Energy & Resources Collaborative’s (BERC) Energy Summit. The panelists were the Energy Institute’s Reed Walker; Carol Zabin…
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