There has been a lot of talk about “Green Jobs” – and sadly much of the conversation has been negative. The term “Green Job” in our politically charged media makes one think of the Solyndra disaster, the misallocation of government funding, and people out of work. However, the news on the “Green Job” front is not all bad. Below is some of the fastest growing (yes, pun intended) “Green Jobs” in action today:
Produce spoils easily and shipping costs have only increased. Both of those things are bad news if you are a chef in an urban environment. The solution for many is a Green Roof Garden. Green Roof Gardens are full vegetable, fruit, and flower gardens located on city roof tops and the people who run them are called Urban Growers.
Theses urban gardens can deliver locally sourced foods to the surrounding city neighborhoods and restaurants. They also help to help protect the environment by minimizing the use of pesticides, fossil fuels, and other resources that would be needed to grow and transport food. Green roofs also aid by insulating buildings from energy loss, handling storm water, improving air quality, and providing places of tranquility above the city streets.
Water Quality Technicians
Water quality is a global issue. Be it finding safe drinking water in rural environments or testing the quality of water in urban environments; water quality technicians are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the water quality field to increase 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. This statistic is faster than average career growth for other occupations. The need for water treatment facilities will increase as the population grows and thus so will the need for trained water quality technicians.
Clean Car Engineers
If you are a frequent guest here at Gas2 than you already know that the clean car market is the next phase of not only the auto industry but the transportation industry. Transportation currently burns two thirds of America’s oil and produces one-third of its greenhouse gas emissions. Electric cars are the alternative and the folks with the engineering degrees to build these machines of the future are in high demand.
Recycling is big business – and it is a green business. Value is added to discarded materials as a result of cleaning, sorting, and release. Manufacturing with locally collected discards adds even more value by producing finished goods. For example, old newspapers may sell for $30 per ton, but new newsprint sells for $600 per ton. Each recycling step a community takes locally means more jobs, more business expenditures on supplies and services, and more money circulating in the local economy through spending and tax payments.
Humans impact the environment that we live in and natural scientists monitor that impact. As humans search for dwindling fossil fuel supplies greater risks will be taken. An example of the results of risk taking in order to get fossil fuels is the BP Oil Spill. Natural scientists to this day are monitoring the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Using recycled and renewable goods to build houses is now very common. Bamboo is used for hard wood floors and geothermal heat is used to heat and cool office buildings. Careful planning and detailing at the start of a project enrich and make the project much simpler. The results are that builders spend just months building a home and the final product will last for generations to come with a low environmental impact.
Solar Cell Technicians
Because of the growing demand for clean sources of energy, the production of solar cells and PV systems has been doubling every two years since 2002. That makes solar the fastest growing energy technology in the world, although the U.S. market has had some set backs. The three leading countries, Germany, Japan and the USA, represent nearly 89% of the total worldwide PV installed capacity.
Green Design Professionals
If you are an aspiring urban grower or green builder odds are you might have to hire a Green Design Professional to help with your project. From planning a roof top garden to the placement of solar panels Green Design Professionals are there to get your project off the ground.
Wave Energy Producers
The ocean is in continuous motion and devices like the Pelamis P2 wave energy generator can capture it to produce power. A 590 foot long 1,300 ton rig in Scotland’s Orkney Islands became the first commercial scale marine device to produce grid energy from the ocean. The 750 kilowatt rating generates enough power per year to meet the average electric needs of 500 homes. In the coming years Australia’s Garden Island submarine base is to be powered by wave energy under a deal between the Australian Department of Defense and a Perth company.
Wind Energy Workers
Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of new electric power generation. In 2010, generation from wind power increased 28.1% over 2009, bringing the share of total generation to 2.3%. In 2010, wind generators were eligible for Federal production and investment tax credits or a cash grant in lieu of those tax credits. Since passage of the 2005 Energy Policy Act interest free financing via Clean Renewable Energy Bonds has been available to government entities investing in wind.
Bio fuels are being used in all forms of transportation from cars to planes. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that renewable fuel must increase from 9 billion gallons of U.S. motor fuel in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The policy makes rapid growth in biofuel jobs very likely in both the public and private sectors. From making a better biofuel to engineering a cleaner engine the sky is the limit.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison