GreenTech: The Coming Clean Job Boom

The Industrial Revolution, the original “rise of the machines”… widely regarded as a turning point in human history. Prior to this time, people’s lives were quite different. Mostly, people were living in small or medium villages, they didn’t usually travel far, and work was largely restricted to a trade or craft passed down. Life was slower, with people more confined geographically and vocationally.

Then, suddenly, at-scale worker machines were radically transforming life as we knew it. We had figured out how to farm for our growing population and make things more quickly, and lots of them at once. Our population grew, people started branching out in search of a way to support themselves, and here we are today… the innovations birthed during this period of time paved the way for globalization.

From what we can tell, we’re in the very beginnings of another substantial shift (once again spurred by technological innovations) in how and where we work, as well as the spaces in which we work. One day, it could be that we look back and see this moment as yet another turning point for our species. Again, though, we are early in this transition. It may take time to really see it play out and propagate throughout society.

We’re talking about the green energy jobs boom this week, because we want you to benefit from knowing what you’re watching unfold in real time. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is poised to employ hundreds of thousands of green workers over the next few years. They’ll be tending to green projects that help us establish our goals, such as a fully integrated US solar manufacturing supply chain. Across solar alone, we’re looking at over 507,000 jobs.

The Tide Turns: Dirty Out, Clean In

We’ve reached a point where green projects aren’t onesie-twosie anymore… they’re getting serious. Clean energy projects can benefit every single state in some way, especially those with plenty of wind, sun, and manufacturing capabilities. According to recent analysis by think tank RMI, each state is looking to gain from 2,000 all the way up to 140,000 clean energy jobs in the next seven years.

With billions in funding, tax credits, and rebates, we’re on pace to witness a fairly rapid rate of adoption of green technologies and methodologies. With each state staring at a cool $1 billion to $130 billion in cumulative clean energy investments, also within a sever year time period, the conditions are right. These jobs are coming, will be here to stay, and we’ll need them filled to meet our goals.

So… yes, we think we probably are in another pivotal transition, and with a lot of money on the table. Companies we’re seeing rise to the occasion include companies like Foxconn and We Energies, which recently teamed up on what could become one of the largest non-residential solar projects in southeastern Wisconsin. The proposed project would be about 2,000 solar panels producing enough power for about 300 homes.

The companies are especially proud of the jobs the project will bring. Estimates sit at approximately 1,454 by next year, all funded by the up-to $80 million project contract. According to WEC Energy Group leadership (the parent company of We Energies), the project should generate enough energy that it offsets as much carbon each year as planting 20,000 trees. It’s win-win… the people get clean energy, and one more way to earn a living.

Jobs in the green space are already heating up, and they’ll get white-hot before it’s over. Remember how everyone swooned at tech jobs, and lauded the space for so long? Yeah… not so much anymore. We’re bored with tech, we’ve seen it. It’s normal now. Also, in many cases, we have robots to do that stuff for us now. However… green jobs, are just getting started. New titles will pop into existence as we progress.

In California, the state is poised to welcome 10,000 green jobs in the Central Valley from high-speed rail… green, well paying, union jobs. Truly time is a circle, we see another transformation, and the union coming back into favor as the green space blossoms. The project is the largest infrastructure project in the nation, and just a taste of what’s to come, and what kind of jobs we’ll see becoming normal over the next few years. Come back next week, we’ll have more from the green tech space!