Friday, January 27, 2017

For U.S. Jobs Creation, Renewables Are a Better Bet than Coal - IEEE Spectrum

Solar Farm (Credit: IEEE Spectrum) Click to Enlarge.
For jobs creation, the new Trump administration would do well to take a fresh look at clean energy rather than focusing only on fossil fuels.  The solar power sector employed twice as many workers in 2016 than power generation from coal, gas and oil combined, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report on employment in energy and energy efficiency.

The solar workforce was about 374,000-strong, making up around 43% of the total employees in the power generation field.  Wind power employed 101,738 workers, an increase of 25%.  Coal, gas and oil-fired generation together accounted for just over 187,000 jobs, or 22% of the workforce.

A majority of fossil fuel energy jobs are in mining and extraction rather than power generation, but these jobs are declining.  Coal mining reached its peak employment in 2012, and now employs around 53,000.  Oil and gas extraction jobs reached a peak in 2014 with 541,000 jobs, and in mid-2016 had 388,000 workers.
Even if President Trump can delay coal power plant retirement, the job payoff will be small, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The coal industry might have better long-term success if it was made cleaner using carbon capture and storage technologies.

Read more at For U.S. Jobs Creation, Renewables Are a Better Bet than Coal

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