Green Report Roundup
While many industries are suffering slowdowns, the production of research reports, surveys and studies on all things green is bustling. Here is a sampling of recent reports tracking the green growth in government, employment, green technology and conservation.
Green Does Equal Growth
The green energy economy grew jobs nearly 2½ times faster than overall jobs in the U.S. between 1998 and 2007, says a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Clean Energy Economy, Repowering Jobs, Businesses and Investments Across America presents the “first-ever hard count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services,” according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Green energy jobs grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent, while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent between 1998 and 2007.
According to the report, By 2007, 68,203 businesses in the United States had generated more than 770,000 jobs in the clean energy economy, and between 2006 and 2008, about $12.6 billion of venture capital investments was directed toward clean technology businesses in 40 states and the District of Columbia. In California 10,209 green energy businesses provided 125,390 jobs.
Green Cities and Climate Change
A new Green Cities report from Living Cities is an assessment of how 40 key US cities are dealing with climate change.
Living Cities is a collaboration of 21 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions. Their report showcases innovative ways cities are creating green economis, focusing especially on ways they are connecting low-income people and “under-invested” urban communities to new jobs and opportunities. The California cities profiled are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco an Oakland.
Among the findings: Four in five big cities report that sustainability is among their top five priorities, and more than half of the big cities are either currently creating a sustainability plan or have already finished creating one; more than three-quarters of big cities have, or will soon have, detailed plans on how they will reduce greenhouse gases. Rising energy costs have driven increases in public transit ridership in virtually every city in the survey and a significant number of cities reported they're investing in one or more of four central strategies to boost mass transit. In addition, cities are building more efficient buildings and nearly have of cities have programs subsidizing insulation, energy-efficient appliances and weatherization.
Who’s Got the Biggest Solar Array?
California utilities swept the first, second and third place rankings for utilities producing the most solar power in 2008. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, based in San Francisco, was ranked number one in the Top Ten Utility Solar Integration Rankings, interconnecting 85 megawatts of new capacity, more than 44 percent of the total reported by the 92 utilities surveyed. The report shows an average increase of two megawatts per participating utility during 2008, enough to offset the electrical usage of over 300 homes on an annual basis. Ranked second and third were Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Where are the Engineers?
The staffing company Manpower, put out its list of the top ten hardest to fill jobs in the U.S., and for the second year in a row the job of engineer was number one. Manpower surveyed 2,019 employers during the first quarter of 2009, and even with unemployment reaching double-digit numbers, these employers are still having a hard time filling engineering positions. With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding the retrofitting of buildings, bridge and road building, and renewable energy installations on the increase, engineers are in more demand than ever. Numbers two and three on the rankings were nurses and skilled and manual tradesmen.
We’ll Need Twice the Energy by 2030
Forty-four is the percent, between 2006 and 2030, that world energy consumption is expected to grow. A report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Outlook 2009 shows that the huge increase will be driven by growth in developing nations. The authors report that world energy use rose from 472 quadrillion Btu in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015, and will reach to 678 quadrillion Btu by 2030.
More than Enough Water
A new report, Making Every Drop Work: Increasing Water Efficiency in California’s Commercial, Industrial and Institutional (CII) Sector, by the Natural Resources Defense Council reveals the surprising fact that California businesses, if they implement water conservation methods, could save more than enough water to supply Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. This even in the midst of a three-year, and counting, drought. The CII sector includes office buildings, hotels, oil refineries, golf courses, schools and universities, restaurants and manufacturers. It is responsible for one-third of urban water use, the equivalent of more than 1,000,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water annually.