Large commercial and industrial companies are uniquely positioned to invest in renewable energy projects, and tend to have the most to gain from them.
Sustainable Energy Companies in the US Are Leading the Way to a Clean Energy Future
Contributed by | Alcen Renewable
The story of the human race can be described as the story of energy. From ox-mounted plows to steam engines, our capability to do work relies on the capacity to store and use energy effectively. Today, for anyone who examines the growth of sustainable energy companies in the US, it appears that we're on the brink of a new energy revolution.
First, let's take account of the facts:
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that global electricity demand will increase by 48% by 2040.
- Renewable energy is creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy.
- Fossil fuels appear to be stagnating.
All of these point to an increased, economy-wide focus on the power of renewable energy. Americans are learning to trust the new green power companies y in the US, and not the coal- or gas-powered monoliths of yesteryear.
What's Driving Change?
The current transition to a green energy society is being guided by economic factors more than policy. As the modern, electricity-based economy becomes faster, smarter, and more efficient, the economic incentives for renewable energy increase.
Solar power is already the cheapest form of energy available in many countries, and Greentech Media Research expects the price to fall below $1 per watt by 2020 — this represents a clear advantage when compared to burning gas or coal for power.
As a result, even fossil fuel companies are pivoting to renewable energy. In April 2017, a Kentucky coal company announced its plans to build the state's largest solar farm, right in the heart of coal country. These types of projects are popping up all across the United States as disenfranchised coal workers look for jobs — and renewable energy job growth keeps advancing forward.
Looking backwards in time, it's easy to see that the growth of renewable energy jobs is natural. People did not stop using steam power because they ran out of coal — nor did people start driving cars because horses died out. New innovations that created value for consumers were adopted in lieu of old and increasingly obsolete technologies.
Whenever you can do more for less, there exists an opportunity for increased efficiency. That opportunity, on a nationwide scale, is being exploited to great effect by sustainable energy companies in the US — and job-seekers are seeing the most of it.
The Growth of Green Jobs
Ultimately, economic incentives and job growth continue to do more for renewable energy than public policy — although public policy is a that's a push in the right direction in states where it's happening. California already leads the way in terms of green job growth and renewable energy infrastructure development.
Sustainable energy companies in the US are growing in leaps and bounds. The solar industry, in particular, employs more workers than tech giants Apple, Google, and Facebook combined. One out of every 50 new jobs created in the United States is a solar industry job, and with median wages of $26 per hour, the incentive to switch to solar is clear.
Wind is achieving important milestones as well, with energy generation records set in fourteen US states. Jobs, particularly in manufacturing, continue to grow at a rate far beyond the nominal rate of the US economy. Increasingly, corporations and utilities strike deals with wind developers to purchase power from them at better rates than what fossil fuel energy providers can offer.
The wind industry has seen a 16.5% growth in jobs, and even boasts the nation's number one fastest growing job — the wind turbine technician. Graduates of an accredited two-year study program actually have multiple job offers as soon as they're out of school — the demand is simply that high — and it continues to grow.
There are several factors that make green jobs like these so attractive:
- Accessibility — With many green energy jobs only requiring vocational school in addition to a high school diploma, they are vastly preferable to positions requiring four-year college degrees in other fields.
- Easily transferable skills — The skills that green energy workers pick up are easily transferable to a wide range of other industries, Additionally, they translate very well to other positions within the fast-growing renewable energy industry.
- High earning potential — The top earners in wind and solar tend to be manufacturing engineers and designers creating innovative products and processes. Highly experienced employees can earn six figures in these fields.
- Secure Prospects — As renewable energy continues to grow, so do the prospects of jobs with sustainable energy companies in the US. Unlike many other sectors, jobs here are safe for the foreseeable future.
Pivot Towards Change – Invest In Green Jobs
Large commercial and industrial companies are uniquely positioned to invest in renewable energy projects, and tend to have the most to gain from them. There has never been a better case for solar or wind energy development, even for organizations historically based on fossil fuels. They Fossil fuel companies that pivot towards renewable energy preserve their valuable resources and gain a more diversified energy portfolio, hedging their bets against the clean energy future.
As ScienceMag.org explains, the list of green science jobs is as endless as the approaches to green science. Facility managers working for large organizations are increasingly relying on environmental science to come up with innovative ways to improve production and reduce emissions — ultimately, creating new efficiencies in existing facility processes.
Decision-makers at these types of facilities are largely turning to green energy because of the direct effect it has on their company's bottom line. The environmental benefits are simply bonuses to working with existing infrastructure created by sustainable energy companies in the US.
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