Clean energy is booming. Nearly ten thousand jobs were announced in the clean energy sector in the third quarter of this year alone. Over the past three years, a quarter of a million clean energy jobs were created in every state in the country; even Texas , the oil industry mainstay, will be adding 400 jobs on wind farms this year, and over the coming years, Utah will be adding thousands of solar-related jobs.
What does this mean for higher ed? In addition to higher ed’s role in incubating clean energy innovations, colleges and universities have the responsibility of preparing our future workforce and industry leaders. By continuing to focus on sustainability on college campuses, increase interdisciplinary learning, and offer opportunities for students to have hands-on sustainability learning experiences, higher ed will ensure that today’s college students have access to the jobs of tomorrow.
President Obama had plenty of good reasons for rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Nov. 6, but here's one more reason that made it all the more logical:
We're already creating lots of energy jobs in America: Clean, renewable energy jobs in manufacturing, construction and a myriad other fields.
Nearly 10,000 jobs were announced in clean energy and clean transportation during the third quarter of this year alone, according to Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2's) just-released clean energy jobs report. You can read the full Clean Energy Works for US Q3 report here and see state-by-state jobs data here.
These are good-paying jobs that aren't limited to a pipe snaking through a tiny sliver of environmentally-sensitive land in our nation's heartland.
These are jobs like the 250 new openings announced in Jackson, Miss. in September at the new Seraphim solar panel factory (yes you read that right -- Jackson, Miss.)
These are jobs like the 100 positions announced with a new wind farm in San Juan County in Utah a few months ago, and the thousands of new jobs expected over the next 10 years that come with the recent announcement of a new SolarCity regional headquarters in Salt Lake City.