In his inauguration speech, President-Elect Obama said we need an economy that addresses the “new energy to harness and new jobs to be created.” But what are some of the opportunities to watch for? Check out his plan below, and then let’s discuss some of the areas that should see increased opportunity.
Obama’s proposals are ambitious, and could lead to millions of new green jobs
The Obama Plan Says: Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
Where the green job opportunities are: $15 billion dollars a year to support clean energy will be a boon for renewable energy companies. Solar, wind, and geothermal will all benefit from increased financing. In solar look for opportunities in thin-film companies like Nano Solar and Mia Sole, in traditional solar companies like Suntech, Sharp, Sun Power, and large utility scale solar plants developed by companies like E-Solar and Ausra.
Jobs in wind development include developers of wind farms as well as the companies that are producing the equipment. US companies like GE and European manufacturers including Vestas and Gamesa are all ramping up operations in the US to produce and sell more turbines.
The Obama Plan Says: Put 1 million Plug‚ÄêIn Hybrid cars – cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon – on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America
Where the green job opportunities are: The biggest buzz around Hybrid is batteries, and companies like A123Systems
have raised a lot of money from the venture community. There are also innovative companies building new car’s like Tesla and companies like Better Place creating new ways to think about transportation.
The Obama Plan Says: Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025. Implement an economy‚Äêwide cap‚Äêand‚Äêtrade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050
Where the green job opportunities are: Right now there are already voluntary markets for carbon trading in the US. With a national cap and trade system, billions of dollars will be flowing between power plants, investors, and the government. This means if you are on Wall Street and looking for a job, this could be a booming area. In London finance companies ranging from Goldman Sachs to Climate Change Capital have built practices around Kyoto.
States like New Jersey already have burgeoning Renewable Energy Credit markets. These will only grow if we get a national renewable portfolio standard.
The Obama Plan Says: Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology
Where the green job opportunities are:This goes hand in hand with Carbon Markets. By pricing carbon, the economics of clean coal technology and carbon capture will improve dramatically. The government will be spending money on new carbon-capture projects. Clean coal companies like Coal Tek are exploring ways to make the source of 50% of our electricity cleaner.
The Obama Plan Says: Encourage Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Reduce Demand 15% by 2020
Where the green job opportunities are: Energy efficiency is the cheapest and easiest way to reduce our carbon footprint. Some opportunities are very local and hands on. Look for opportunities in Energy Service Companies that manage buildings electricity usage through the use of energy efficient lighting, mechanical and other techniques. Others are more technologically intensive like demand response companies that will work with utilities to manage customer power use through the grid.
Once building takes off again, green building and energy efficient building and techniques will have a giant impact on the economy. From LED lightbulbs to high efficiency appliances, companies throughout the green building value chain will innovate with a focus on energy efficiency.
Readers: This is just the tip of the iceberg, let us know what green job opportunities you are excited about in the coming years
About the author: Craig Isakow has a passion for politics, worked on John Kerry’s 2004 election as an Advance Man, and made a few appearances on the trail in 2008. He is the founder of green building materials directory ConstructiveBuilding.com.