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8 Places to Find Green Jobs

8 Places to Find Green Jobs

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

April 13, 2011

Time to Learn Chinese?

China is the global leader in creating jobs within the clean energy sector and 700,000 jobs were created in 2009 due to its high growth in solar heating technologies. China spent $34.6 billion last year on clean energy, which is almost double the U.S. investment of $18.6 billion, according to EL Insights.

The US and China account for 42 percent of global energy demand and both will spend trillions of dollars by 2030 to improve their infrastructure while reducing its dependency on coal and reducing carbon output, EL Insights said.

China is now headquarters to six of the largest renewable energy employers. Corporations seeking commercial opportunities in cleantech such as American Superconductor, Duke Energy, Applied Materials, Verdant Power, GE, IBM, Daimler, Intel, and Boeing have all set up strategic partnerships in China in 2010, EL Insights reported.

What Could Help Fuel Job Creation?

In short, government investments.

In 2010, President Obama announced a program that would include $2.3 billion in tax credits that would go toward creating more jobs in the clean energy sector and the administration has emphasized the importance of using renewable energy to both help the environment and cut costs.

The U.S. government allocated $50 billion of the $800 billion federal stimulus package to develop factory jobs in cleantech. However, more than 70% of renewable energy installations in the United States are manufactured overseas which are in part due to cheap labor costs in Asia, EL Insights reported.

But more is needed. Two million new jobs could be created over a 10-year period if $100 billion was invested in clean energy instead of in oil and gas-related industries, which would comparatively only create 500,000 new jobs, EL Insights noted. According to the Center for American Progress, “renewable energy and efficiency improvements create twice as many jobs per unit of energy and per dollar invested than traditional fossil fuel-based generating technologies” which means that, depending on the estimate, two to four jobs could be created for every one job created if money was spent on fossil fuel industries instead of clean tech, according to the EL Insights study.

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