Obama Energy Plan and 5 Business Opportunities It Supports

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.

6 responses

  1. Fabulous article, Craig. It’s great to bring the Obama vision down to tangible gains in market sectors and business models. I’d also include carbon sequestration, especially associated with Clean Coal (still a misnomer without sequestration) as an area sure to boom. And algae based biofuels…
    Further, the web2.0 campaign that Obama ran will certainly forecasts a boon to companies like mine (Creative Citizen) and others in the space helping to push forward energy efficiency amongst the populous.
    Absolutely exciting time for we green people…

  2. Better Place’s (“BP”) idea is the most foolish business plan ever. It is premised on the assumption that battery technology will not evolve and improve. Battery technology is technology. With time, technology gets better and costs less. Look at processors, LCD TVs, etc. Investment into battery technology has been growing exponentially since the advent of laptops, cellphones, PDAs. Batteries can already get us 100 miles. How much improvement do we need before BP’s “recharging/swapping stations” become redundant? BP plans to have its infrastructure set up in Australia by 2012. As per normal delays, that means it will actually be set up by 2014-16. There are no plans for the USA. So, at the earliest, infrastructure would be set up here by 2018. That is a decade away. Where do you think battery technology will be in a decade? It in all likelihood, it will be in a place that makes BP’s charging stations redundant before they even get truly started. This is not to mention that plug-in electric-gas hybrids would make all that BP infrastructure redundant. All BP is trying to do is get into the market early to create a electricity network monopoly. When consumers realize that their batteries are good enough so that the network is redundant, BP’s monopoly will disintegrate.

  3. Well, the third point is certainly out of the window now!

    Never mind, most of these < a href=”http://www.somar.co.uk/who_are_you/energy_saving.php?Pageid=31″ rel=”follow”>green energy business opportunities are still viable with or without a national cap-and-trade scheme, although the various regional versions will add an extra stimulus not present in those areas still intent on burying their heads in the tar sand.

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