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How Renewable Energy Jobs Are Shaping the Economy

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Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

  • Member since 2020
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  • Jan 24, 2022
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Energy prices often represent the state of the economy. As environmental concerns continuously rise, individuals may notice a decrease in this correlation. Since the United Nations (UN) developed the Paris Agreement, countries began adopting renewable energy sources, lowering their ecological impacts.

The UN plans to reduce the global greenhouse gas emission rate to limit temperature rises. Energy professionals can support the goal by converting their power reliance away from fossil fuels towards renewable electricity sources. The transition increases the number of sustainable jobs available to the working class.

The Relationship Between Energy Jobs and the Economy

In the digital age, energy is a vital resource with high consumer demands. Energy supports nearly all industries, powering production, transportation, and residential needs. Many financial professionals claim that gross domestic product (GDP) growth directly correlates to energy production.

The supply chain’s current state is adversely impacting the economy, raising oil and gas prices. Consumers are paying more now to fuel their vehicles as countries feel the effects of COVID-related supply problems. As individuals spend more money on transportation, they have less money to circulate through other industries.

Solar panels currently create the most affordable power supply on the market. As the world shifts from coal to clean energy, sustainable employment opportunities will arise and the economy will improve. There are a few ways renewable energy jobs are shaping the global economy.

Renewable Jobs Offer Higher Wages

One way clean energy positions support the economy is by offering higher wages. Economic professionals found that individuals working in the renewable energy industry made nearly 25% more compared to the national median. In 2019, employees working on clean grids, power development, energy efficiency, and electric vehicles made $23.89 per hour as their median wage.

The solar industry offers the most employment opportunities and highest wages, reaching a median of $24.48 an hour. When individuals make more money, they filter it back into the economy, supporting other businesses. Renewable energy jobs also increase employment rates by creating opportunities for workers in other fields.

Clean Energy Supports Ex-Coal Workers

Many companies are increasing their sustainability by transitioning away from fossil fuel energy sources towards renewables. They are shifting their power sources to meet consumer and investor values, and improve their profitability. Business owners also support job security by adopting renewable energy supplies.

Since 2011, employment in coal mining has declined by 42%, leaving many individuals without jobs. Mass unemployment rates can adversely affect the economy’s stability. Renewable energy jobs offer a solution to declining employment among coal workers.

In the United States, Texas is one of the leading employers of fossil fuel workers. The state also has the greatest potential for wind power production. The wind sector offers a variety of positions to the workforce, from installation professionals to turbine engineers.

Supporting Employment for All Political Parties

Many individuals remain skeptical about the coal-to-clean transition because of political ties. The coal and oil industry generally attracts conservative workers and renewables have a more liberal reputation. Fortunately, the transition to emission-free power sources benefits both parties.

As different countries establish clean energy policies, the demand for renewables increases. Struggling farmers are using tax incentives and government funding to convert their land into solar or wind farms. Energy professionals pay farmers for their clean electricity, creating an independent and reliable form of income.

Many red states also have high renewable energy production potential. Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota produce some of the highest amounts of solar and wind power. Though some individuals believe conserving the coal and oil industry is essential to economic stability, renewables are offering similar benefits.

Transitioning From Coal to a Clean Economy

Employees may support economic health by adopting clean energy positions. The industry offers a variety of opportunities, and individuals may assess their unique skill set to assist in the transition away from fossil fuels. Workers can ensure their job stability by staying up to date with industry news, improving their management skills, and taking modern training courses.

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 24, 2022

In the United States, Texas is one of the leading employers of fossil fuel workers. The state also has the greatest potential for wind power production. The wind sector offers a variety of positions to the workforce, from installation professionals to turbine engineers.

Helping these types of transitions so the relevant expertise continues to be captured and the type of long-term and high growth jobs are still available to those in these communities really has to be a part of all major clean energy legislation

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