Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’
The United States military is the single largest consumer of energy in the world and recognizes its dependence on fossil fuels as a strategic disadvantage in its operations around the world. To lessen their dependence on fossil fuels, the Department of Defense is developing strong green initiatives and alternative energy programs. The U.S. military has established itself on the vanguard of implementing the most advanced green and alternative fuel technologies. The programs can be found throughout every branch of the armed forces.
Pew Charitable Trust released an extensive 88 page report in September 2011 titled: From Barracks to the Battlefield – Clean Energy Innovation and America’s Armed Forces. The report details the U.S. military plans to expand and develop energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuels in a quest to maintain its military superiority worldwide. The army has incorporated green technology in many sectors of its operations from on-base electric vehicles to solor power assisted humvees. The navy has developed hybrid-electric and biofuel ships with a goal of sailing a Green Strike Group by 2016 with extensive testing beginning this year. The air force is expanding its biofuel-powered and Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) aircraft technology. Clearly the military is leading the way to stronger and more energy independent America and will continue to be on the forefront of developments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and alternative fuels. The Department or Defense is discussing the possibility of installing seven gigawatts of solar power on military bases to supply its own needs and to increase energy security. If you are curious and interested in seeing what new green and alternate energy technology is coming to the private sector, look to the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Center for American Progress and Energy RM jointly released a ground-breaking report this month advocating a conprehensive, sustainable energy efficiency initiative to help get America back to work. The initiative has the potential of creating 625,000 jobs over the next decade with $500 billion in new investments to improve home/office building energy efficiency resulting in $64 billion in energy savings.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 59% of residential buildings and 54% of commercial buildings in the USA were built before 1980. Buildings consume more energy than any other segment of the economy. That’s more than either transportation or industry. The potential market for energy efficiency is opportune to retrofit and improve existing buildings to save valuable resources and support programs for sustainable development, energy independence, and environmental protection.
However, the energy efficiency initiative will not happen on its own. States need to make the first move. They need to implement energy policies to initiate, encourge, develop and sustain energy efficency programs. The 50 page report highlights ten key energy efficiency policies that “are already providing numerous real-world examples of how policy-driven energy efficiency markets can create a new industry to power job creation in the construction sector profitabily and sustainably”. However, “no state has fully developed the potential of their energy efficiency market to create clean energy jobs, let alone the federal government”. The report recommends that the states lead the way.
The construction industry has been especially impacted by the recession with unemployment around 25%. Residential construction unemployment hovers around 38%. Additionally, construction related businesses in retail and manufacturing are significantly impacted as well. The report, “Efficiency Works – Creating Good Jobs and New Markets Through Energy Efficiency”, addresses a core problem with the economy today. Housing burst the economic bubble. Housing and commercial energy efficiency programs can help get us back on track.
In a recent survey, 246 out of 300 corporate executives plan to invest in making their companies more energy efficient within the next 12 months. The CEO’s see this as an opportunity to create revenue, the side effect I see will be the creation of jobs needed to help make these companies more environmentally friendly.
Investment into climate change initiatives will create opportunities for several career fields associated with energy efficiency. They include HVAC technicians, energy engineers, financial analysts and energy auditors. O*NET, an online database of careers created for the U.S. Department of Labor, lists these career fields as not only green but specifically marks them as having a bright future.
Just think – only 300 CEO’s responded to this survey. With climate change being an ever present topic and corporations seeking out revenue opportunities in a down economy, you could probably add thousands more to the above mentioned 246 corporate executives who plan to invest in energy efficiency. The resulting career opportunities could be astounding!