Get Ready for a Green Jobs Explosion, New Study Says
Photo via Alternative Energy
Are there any other words that people are more tired of hearing than ‘green jobs’? I mean, they’re a great thing, and a key to our nation’s future economic success, but the term gets tossed around so much, people are starting to wonder where they actually are. And where is that? Put simply: on the way. According to a new study, we’re poised for an unprecedented explosion of green jobs that will boost the US economy and create a revolution in clean tech development.
According to the report from Pew Charitable Trusts, the clean energy economy grew 9.7% between 1998 and 2007—but that’s nothing compared to what’s ahead. Greenwire reports:
"The nation's clean-energy economy is poised for explosive growth," said Lori Grange, the Pew Center on the States' interim deputy director. "The trends include surging venture capital investment ... a critical growth rate in clean-energy generation, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly products."
That surging venture capital investment Grange mentions? The word ‘surge’ might actually be an understatement for the first time in its recorded use—around 80% of all venture capital investments were in the clean tech sector in 2008, beating out telecommunications, media, and everything else by a mile.
Even though investment stagnated in 2009, the Times says, clean tech still outpaced every other industry. And where venture capital booms, well—remember the Dot Com explosion in the 90s? Should be something like that—which means exponential job growth and a speedy widening of the clean tech industry.
The report found that Obama’s stimulus is a major driving force in the clean tech sector, but that green job growth was even on the up and up for a few years before.
The report finds that job growth in the clean-energy economy outperformed total job growth in 38 states and the District of Columbia between 1998 and 2007, the most recent year for which data are available. The total number of jobs grew 3.7 percent during that period, which included the dot-com boom and bust and the beginning of the current recession.
But that should just be the beginning—if the trends identified in the report are any indicator, and if Pew’s thesis is accurate, we’re headed for the greenest bubble ever. And then perhaps people will stop being annoyed with the term and simply accept it, as ‘green collar worker’ takes its place alongside blue collar and white collar—while joining both together for the betterment of both our economy and our environment.