NewEnergyNews: TODAY’S STUDY: THE LATEST ON NEW ENERGY JOBS

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 8:

  • TTTA Thursday- The Record Of The New EPA Head
  • TTTA Thursday-The Undeveloped New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Walking On New Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-Electric Tractor For Emissions-Free.Farming
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • WEEKEND VIDEOS, December 10-11:

  • A Climate Change Denier’s Lies Exposed
  • The Good News Numbers On The EV Boom
  • “This Is Just The Beginning”

    Tuesday, June 03, 2014

    TODAY’S STUDY: THE LATEST ON NEW ENERGY JOBS

    Clean Energy Works For Us: First Quarter 2014 Report

    May 22, 2014 (Environmental Entrepreneurs)

    From commercial-scale solar developments to energy-efficient recycling projects, clean energy and clean transportation continues to create jobs and drive economic growth. By tracking job announcements from companies, elected officials, the media, and elsewhere, Environmental Entrepreneurs’ (E2’s) jobs reports show how and where clean energy works in the United States.

    Clean Jobs Fall In Q1

    Nearly 5,600 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced throughout the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014. This is a significant decline from the previous two quarters. The decline stems in part from the expiration of federal tax credits critical to leveling the playing field for renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, like wind, solar, and energy efficient lighting, continuing attacks on state clean energy policies, and low natural gas prices. Because of ongoing regulatory uncertainty and other energy sector trends, businesses held back investments that would likely have led to more hiring in the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.

    As a result of the decline in job announcements, a lone geothermal project was enough to propel Idaho, which had not ranked in the Top 10 in any previous quarter, to the top spot. Idaho was immediately followed by more traditional top performers. The remaining states in the Top 10 were: TX, CA, MO, NY, KS, AZ, HI, NM, and LA.

    Texas ranked 2nd with four announcements, including two wind and one solar farm announcement with a combined capacity of 249 MW. Louisiana was a newcomer to the Top 10, thanks to recycled plastic railroad tie maker IntegriCo Composites’ new manufacturing facility in Webster Parish.

    Looking at individual sectors, geothermal had one of its strongest showings since E2 began tracking job announcements in 2011. E2 tracked more than 1,000 job announcements from the geothermal sector in Q1, including 800 planned jobs from Aguacaliente’s 25 MW project near Malta, Idaho. This was one of three geothermal projects announced this quarter to take advantage of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) revised construction eligibility rules, despite its expiration in December.

    Looking ahead, the Environmental Protection Agency’s anticipated rollout of carbon pollution standards for existing power plants in June could offer more certainty and opportunities for growth in the clean energy industry. By ensuring carbon is regulated from these power plants for the first time, clean, renewable sources of energy like sun, wind, and geothermal and energy efficient technologies, like more efficient lighting and appliances, insulation, and system controls, could play a significant role in helping states to cost effectively meet the standards and potentially lead to substantial increases in the number of clean jobs announced in the coming years.

    Solar Growth Shifts From Utility To Residential Market

    2013 was a record year for utility-scale solar as more than 2,800 MW of generation was installed, a roughly 60 percent increase from the previous year. However, in Q1 2014, the sector accounted for just 1,400 jobs announced – a significant decline from previous quarters. This finding reinforces previous E2 analyses from last year, projecting a slowdown in announcements as a result of policy uncertainty.3

    One of the main reasons for the slowdown is that utilities in solar-rich Western states like California and Nevada are currently exceeding their mandated targets under their respective state Renewable Portfolio Standards.

    Additionally, the looming 2016 expiration of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has led large-scale projects that require long lead times to be reconsidered. The first round of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program – which created an estimated 7,200-plus jobs4 in the utility-scale solar sector – is also sunsetting. The Department plans to shift its financing support from large- scale wind and solar projects to grid integration, energy storage, and efficiency initiatives moving forward.

    While utility-scale solar project announcements are shrinking, residential solar is growing rapidly – and not just in the traditional hotbed of California. For example, in Q1 Vivint Solar announced it was opening three offices in New Jersey. The company is hiring 200 sales employees, installers, electricians and other staff. Solar City announced it will employ an additional 15 staff in Long Island, N.Y., tripling the size of its regional office. Both companies cited that state policies in New York and New Jersey are providing transparency and long-term certainty to invest in the region. Specific policies include strong net metering and grid integration standards, which empower consumers to sell electricity they generate back to the grid.

    Looking ahead, distributed solar generation appears poised for continued growth as traditional financing barriers evaporate; solar module prices drop from further economies of scale; and innovative financing models such as vertical integration, solar securitization, and crowd-funding gain a foothold in the market.

    No Wind PTC = No Jobs

    The PTC is a federal incentive offering a per-kilowatt hour tax credit to developers of renewable generation, including wind, geothermal, and certain forms of biogas and hydropower. Without policies that account for the social cost of carbon, the PTC helps level the playing field for wind energy and other technologies to compete with natural gas and other fossil fuel technologies that receive permanent federal subsidies.6

    In 2012 alone, this tax credit helped the wind industry drive $25 billion in private investment into the economy.7

    But at the end of 2013, Congress let the PTC expire, halting the momentum of a rapidly growing industry. The American Wind Energy Association reported 30,000 job losses in 2013 as a result of uncertainty over the extension of the PTC. This past quarter, wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa announced the closure of its facility in Edensburg, PA, eliminating 62 jobs.8

    As long as federal tax extenders remain in limbo, renewable technologies will remain stuck in a boom-bust cycle dictated by the whims of Washington and investors will likely be cautious to direct capital to new projects in the U.S.

    Building-Efficiency Job Announcements Sluggish, But Potential Remains

    Since 2011, E2 has tracked an average of 1,900 announced jobs in the building efficiency sector each quarter. However, in Q1 2014, only two companies made announcements. Combined, these businesses plan to hire 325 workers. This drop may be attributed to the recent expiration of federal tax credits supporting commercial and residential construction and retrofits, including three provisions of the 2005 Energy Policy Act:

    -Tax deduction for the construction of efficient commercial buildings (Section 179D)

    -Tax credit for the construction of efficient homes (45L)

    -Tax credit for investment in residential efficiency improvements (25C)

    With ongoing uncertainty over Congressional extension of these tax credits, businesses and municipalities are hesitant to make investments in building efficiency. Earlier this year, the National Association of Energy Service Companies urged the Senate to extend the 179D provision, noting “incremental energy efficiency projects enabled by the availability of Section 179D create and sustain much needed jobs in the construction, engineering, manufacturing and design sectors.”

    Addressing building energy use can lead to big energy savings – and big job gains. An Institute for Market Transformation analysis estimated the creation of a national building energy rating and disclosure policy could create up to 59,000 jobs and save building owners $18 billion through 2020. The same study indicated the energy savings gained would take the equivalent of 3 million cars off the road.9

    Energy efficiency is popular: Nine in 10 likely voters support energy efficiency as a key part of the solution addressing our energy challenges…

    Conclusion

    To preserve existing jobs and to ensure new ones can be created, Congress must act quickly to enact long-term extensions of federal tax credits for wind, solar and energy efficiency. In the meantime, states can demonstrate the types of clean energy leadership that’s absent in Congress by supporting policies like state-level energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standards and net metering. States can also help create clean jobs within their own borders by leveraging their growing energy efficiency and renewable industries to prepare for the Environmental Protection Agency’s rollout of carbon pollution standards in June.

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