Rarely a day goes by that there isn’t a report announcing a giant new solar or wind installation. At the same time, the U.S. is facing increasing joblessness. But jobs are probably being created in your neighborhood; you just need to know where to look. The NRDC’s new interactive Renewable Energy For America map offers a glimpse of clean energy projects (and accompanying jobs) across the country.
A search for planned and existing wind projects in the U.S., for example yields results spanning the nation, in states including California, Nevada, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, New York, and New Jersey. Looking at the map of planned solar projects, we learn that job seekers might want to (unsurprisingly) head towards the sunny parts of the states--California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah.
The map also shows renewable energy potential for different areas--the West Coast has plenty of solar potential, the middle of the country is tops for wind, and cellulosic biomass is all over the place. There’s biomass everywhere.
The renewable energy projects highlighted on NRDC’s map are major sources of jobs. Consider this list from E2, which offers more details on the new jobs being created by clean technology. Two new solar plants in Arizona are creating 700 construction jobs, while a $22 million biomass project in Kentucky will recruit 340 workers. A mammoth solar project in California will generate over 900 temporary and permanent jobs.
Will these jobs make employees rich? Probably not. But at a time when the viability of the renewable energy industry is constantly being questioned, it’s important to remember that these projects create sources of income for people who currently have none.