Offshore wind could support over 17,500 jobs in California

BERKELEY, CA – With some of the highest offshore wind speeds in the world, a floating offshore wind industry in California could dramatically increase in-state renewable energy generation and support more than 17,500 jobs in 2045. That’s according to The California Offshore Wind Project: A Vision for Industry Growth, a new report from the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) at Humboldt State University, Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET), and BVG Associates.

“Offshore wind can spur a new wave of innovation in California that will support our climate goals,” said Mary Collins, Managing Director of the American Jobs Project and lead author of the report. “But in order to take full advantage of this important source of clean energy, California needs a coordinated state vision to create opportunities for workers and businesses and protect our environmental values.”

In 2018, policymakers set California on an accelerated path to 100 percent clean energy by 2045, creating a need for bold leadership to create more renewable energy generation options. Offshore wind can help California achieve a resilient, secure, and carbon-free energy future by improving grid stability and operational efficiency, tapping into rapidly decreasing costs and growing demand for the technology, and harnessing the state’s vast natural resources, while also fortifying the state’s international leadership on climate change. In addition, good-paying jobs in offshore wind could be filled by workers transitioning from the fossil fuel sector.

“California’s coast offers some of the highest wind resource potential in the country, and offshore wind could produce more than 1.5 times the electricity the state currently uses in one year,” said Arne Jacobson, Director of the Schatz Energy Research Center. “This report provides useful guidance to policymakers and stakeholders for the effort to develop this important source of renewable energy in a way that respects our vibrant coastal ecosystem and maximizes benefits to the local economy.”

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The California Offshore Wind Project finds that:

  • California’s offshore wind industry could support over 17,500 jobs in 2045. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.
  • With deep waters and some of the highest wind speeds in the country, the Golden State has 112 GW of technical offshore wind resource potential, meaning it has the potential to produce 1.5 times as much electricity as California uses in one year.
  • California has the eighth-highest net technical energy resource potential in the United States, which suggests that full utilization of its offshore generation potential could exceed New York and New Jersey, two states that have already made significant investments in the technology.
  • The offshore wind industry is projected to grow 25 percent annually through 2022 due to falling costs and efficient electricity generation during peak demand.
  • California is well-positioned to tap into this market growth given its 100 percent carbon-neutral energy goal, and growing interest from leading European offshore wind developers.

The report provides short and long-term strategies that take advantage of this unique economic opportunity. Recommendations include:

  • Setting a market acceleration target and establishing a comprehensive approach to offshore wind studies to guide early development, survey potential impacts on coastal ecosystems, consider innovative financing mechanisms, and reduce red tape;
  • Establishing a phased approach to offshore wind workforce development to build a diverse and inclusive workforce, formalize partnerships between industry and training providers, and invest in offshore wind safety training;
  • Aligning innovation and access to capital policies with industry needs and promoting offshore wind research collaboration, knowledge exchange, and business development
  • Upgrading ports and establishing port innovation districts to support evolving technology and workforce needs; and
  • Appointing a California Offshore Wind Czar to coordinate activities among state agencies, foster community programs, advocate for procedural changes in the federal leasing process, build international relationships for knowledge exchange, and capture foreign direct investment opportunities.

Visit the American Jobs Project website to read the report.

Manufacturing key to unlocking New York State’s energy storage jobs potential

ALBANY, N.Y. – Bolstering manufacturing and growing a robust energy storage ecosystem is crucial for New Yorkers to capture the economic benefits of the state’s energy storage deployment goals, reveals a report out today from the American Jobs Project in partnership with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST). The New York Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Energy Storage, which comes out in advance of the Public Service Commission’s order on the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap, offers policy recommendations to elevate local manufacturers and create good-paying jobs as the state boosts deployment.

“As New York works to scale energy storage, the choices we make now will shape how we grow this sector,” said William Acker, Executive Director of NY-BEST. “The New York Jobs Project aims to help stakeholders consider how we can cultivate an energy storage ecosystem that ensures the jobs associated with the state’s deployment targets benefit New Yorkers. That means leveraging the state’s cutting-edge research, supporting local manufacturers, and preparing a skilled workforce.”

Energy storage is the key to achieving a resilient, secure, and carbon-free energy future. Currently a $11.8 billion global market, it is estimated to grow 8.4 percent each year through 2022. Together with New York’s progressive energy storage deployment policies, today’s report finds New York is well positioned to grow its global leadership in innovation and establish itself as a manufacturing force for the energy storage industry. With the right partnerships and policies, the report reveals energy storage could strengthen the state’s labor market and create manufacturing jobs, a sector that has continued to shrink since the Great Recession.

“Amplifying the role of local manufacturing in New York’s energy storage industry could provide stable employment for thousands of middle-class workers while creating follow-on benefits for the broader labor market,” said Kate Ringness, Managing Director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report. “New York’s leaders are creating strong policies to ensure there will be local demand for energy storage. We want to support these efforts by ensuring a healthy ecosystem that supports local job creation in manufacturing, as well as deployment.”

“This report further supports the significant outcomes that can be achieved by Governor Cuomo’s commitment to investing in technologies that advance the energy storage sector and spur job growth through the state’s clean energy economy,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “By tapping into the state’s world-class universities and labs, and as the financing capital of the world, we have an opportunity to develop a global energy storage industry in our back yard and build an electric grid of the future that is resilient, clean and affordable.”

Based on stakeholder interviews and extensive research, The New York Jobs Project finds:

  • The energy storage industry could support more than 27,400 manufacturing and installation jobs for New Yorkers by 2030, backing the state’s 30,000 jobs target.
  • The Empire State is home to nearly 100 energy storage companies with expertise in hardware manufacturing, advanced materials, software development, and project management.
  • New York excels at fundamental energy storage research and ranks fifth in the nation for energy storage patents due to the depth of research across its universities, national lab, and businesses.
  • Clean energy innovation is supported by statewide business/technology development resources from NYSERDA, Empire State Development, and NY-BEST.
  • New York’s clean energy leadership, marked by ambitious statewide goals and collaborative stakeholder efforts, present a clear mandate to catalyze energy storage deployment.

The report provides tailored strategies that take advantage of this economic opportunity and build up critical assets for industry growth in New York, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development, and value chain. Recommendations include:

  • Establishing an innovation voucher program to enable small business access to New York’s state-of-the-art energy storage product development and testing facilities;
  • Hosting industry-specific investor education events to help investors better evaluate the value proposition of energy storage businesses;
  • Expanding integrated basic education and skills training at community colleges to prepare workers for jobs in the growing energy storage industry;
  • Developing an energy storage job board to build career awareness and serve as a resource for local businesses, jobseekers, training providers, employment agencies, and policymakers; and
  • Mapping the local energy storage supply chain and coordinating foreign direct investment outreach to fill critical gaps and attract new jobs and capital to the state.

Visit the American Jobs Project website to read the report.

Offshore wind manufacturing and development could mean 847 jobs for South Carolina

CONWAY, S.C. – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, South Carolina could capitalize on the offshore wind industry to drive economic growth and support an annual average of 847 jobs through 2035. That’s according to The South Carolina Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Offshore Wind, a new report from the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies (BCCMWS) at Coastal Carolina University and BVG Associates.

“Jumpstarting South Carolina’s offshore wind conversation would position us to benefit from this quickly growing sector,” said Paul Gayes, Executive Director of BCCMWS. “Right now, there are $56 billion committed to Atlantic Coast offshore wind projects. AJP’s report shows that we can leverage South Carolina’s industry strengths to provide support for these projects and nurture local projects that would grow the economy while meeting our energy needs.”

While offshore wind is increasingly becoming a mainstream and cost-competitive source of electricity in Northern Europe, until recently there has been little movement in the U.S. In the past year, Atlantic costal states have invested in the offshore wind sector, recognizing its potential for meeting the region’s vast energy needs and clean energy goals. Experts predict the market will grow six-fold by 2030, making the sector a good bet for new industries in South Carolina.

Today’s report provides policy recommendations that tap into South Carolina’s research expertise, manufacturing sector, and logistics infrastructure to help the state benefit from the burgeoning industry. It also outlines how South Carolina could spearhead its first offshore wind projects.

The research offers a much-needed economic development strategy that would create good-paying jobs, equip South Carolinians with critical workforce-ready skills, and re-engage eligible workers disconnected from education and employment opportunities. The state has the 45th-lowest labor force participation rate in the nation, and workforce barriers have contributed to a poverty rate of over 15 percent. Growing the state’s offshore wind industry is a promising economic driver.

“Offshore wind could provide stable employment for hundreds of middle-class workers while creating follow-on benefits for the broader labor market,” said Mary Collins, Managing Director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report. “South Carolina leaders could position the state as a pioneer in the regional market and put some of the first turbines into Southeast waters.”

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The South Carolina Jobs Project finds:

  • The offshore wind industry could support an average of 847 in-state jobs each year through 2035. This figure includes jobs in the development, installation, and operation of offshore wind farms in South Carolina as well as component manufacturing for local and regional projects.
  • The industry is projected to grow 16 percent annually through 2030 due to falling costs and efficient electricity generation during peak demand.
  • South Carolina has the sixth-highest net technical offshore wind resource potential in the United States and could meet more than fifty times the state’s electricity needs with offshore wind.
  • South Carolina has cutting-edge offshore wind research expertise, including Clemson University’s drivetrain testing facility, which has attracted the likes of GE and MHI Vestas, and Coastal Carolina University’s ocean, atmosphere, and wave modeling and assessment.
  • The Palmetto State is home to many companies that could expand their in-state operations to support the offshore wind value chain, including fifteen active wind manufacturing facilities, global industry leaders like Siemens and Timken, and cable manufacturers Nexans and Prysmian Group.
  • South Carolina has a competitive edge in offshore wind manufacturing and deployment due to synergy with existing in-state industries including automotive instrumentation, advanced composites, shipbuilding, and logistics.

The report provides tailored strategies that take advantage of this economic opportunity and build up critical assets for industry growth in South Carolina, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development, value chain, and local market. Recommendations include:

  • Fostering the commercialization culture at universities to help homegrown innovations play a larger role in the global economy;
  • Expanding the Angel Tax Credit and the SC Launch program to bolster access to capital for South Carolina’s early-stage startups;
  • Leveraging integrated basic education and skills (I-BEST) programs at technical colleges to address the STEM skills gap and boost manufacturing employment;
  • Assessing the offshore wind readiness of South Carolina’s ports to support current and future offshore wind industry needs; and
  • Highlighting offshore wind as a potential tourist attraction to allay public fears and catalyze project development.

Visit the American Jobs Project website to read the report.

Carbon tech could create the next generation of Wyoming coal jobs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, Wyoming could capitalize on its natural resources and strengths in the carbon tech industry to drive economic growth and support 2,600 jobs annually. That’s according to The Wyoming Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Carbon Tech, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the University of Wyoming College of Business.

Carbon tech refers to high-value products and chemical feedstocks made from coal, natural gas, oil, or captured carbon dioxide. Wyoming — which is home to one-third of existing U.S. coal reserves, substantial natural gas deposits, and abundant technical and scientific expertise — is poised to lead this emerging industry.

“Carbon tech has countless potential commercial applications, and the U.S. market for carbon tech products already totals nearly $3 billion,” said Dr. Robert Godby, associate professor at the University of Wyoming College of Business. “Wyoming is in a strong position to capitalize on this opportunity, and this report offers a practical roadmap for creating jobs and growing the economy.”

Coal mining is vital to Wyoming’s economy, but demand for coal for electricity generation fell by 25 percent over the last three years, and coal’s share of the U.S. power mix is projected to decline by half through 2040. Wyoming urgently needs to diversify its economy and create a fertile climate for homegrown entrepreneurship to respond to the changing energy landscape.

“Taking practical steps to grow Wyoming’s carbon tech industry can put a lot of people to work and support coal-dependent communities while kick-starting new areas of growth,” said Kate Ringness, co-Director of the American Jobs Project and an author of the report.

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The Wyoming Jobs Project finds that:

  • The global carbon tech industry is projected to grow substantially over the next decade. Carbon tech products include carbon fiber, concrete, graphene, cement, plastics, and carbon foam. Some of these products can be used to produce downstream consumer goods such as car parts, building insulation, plastic containers, batteries, and sporting equipment.
  • Wyoming is well positioned to tap into this market growth given its abundant supply of coal and other natural resources, commitment to economic diversification, and high quality of life. These assets are fortified by visionary investments in cutting-edge R&D institutions, such as the Carbon Advanced Materials Center, the Integrated Test Center, and the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute; private R&D facilities, such as the iPark and iCAM; and anchor companies, such as Ramaco Carbon and Mistubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites.
  • Two of the largest local potential downstream users of Wyoming carbon tech products are Wyoming wind and transmission line developers, providing a future opportunity to supply these in-state businesses. Concrete, which can be used to sequester emitted carbon dioxide, is another significant potential downstream use of carbon tech in Wyoming.
  • Wyoming’s carbon tech industry could support an average of 2,600 jobs each year through 2035, representing over 25 percent of the state’s current manufacturing workforce. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.

The report provides state-specific strategies that take advantage of this economic opportunity and build up critical assets for industry growth, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development programs, business recruitment efforts, and local market deployment. Recommendations include:

  • Building a comprehensive carbon tech cluster partnership to coordinate industrial strategy;
  • Developing and strengthening R&D partnerships with other countries and recruiting oversees firms to expand in Wyoming;
  • Reducing brain drain and retaining Wyoming’s brightest students by converting a portion of the Hathaway Scholarship to a forgivable loan program tied to in-state employment after graduation;
  • Establishing a fund of funds to increase access to capital for in-state businesses while encouraging patient capital investments; and
  • Developing a statewide network of entrepreneurship mentors built on successful models in other states.

“Our research into Wyoming’s economic landscape reveals an active and growing ecosystem for carbon innovation and policy commitments to diversification that together could form the foundation of a robust carbon tech cluster,” said Ringness. “The Wyoming Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Carbon Tech suggests a number of practical, targeted, and tested approaches to help the state capitalize on these advantages and become a national and global leader in carbon tech.”

Visit the American Jobs Project website to read the report.

 

Offshore wind sector could mean over 2,000 jobs for Maine

PORTLAND, Maine – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, Maine could build on its advantages in the offshore wind industry to increase economic growth and support an average of more than 2,000 jobs annually. That’s according to The Maine Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Offshore Wind, a new report by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research (MCBER) at the University of Southern Maine, the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech), and BVG Associates.

“With demand for offshore wind generation rising around the globe, Maine has a tremendous opportunity to leverage the state’s competitive advantages and be at the forefront of the industry in the United States,” said Ryan Wallace, Director of the MCBER, “The Maine Jobs Project demonstrates how our state can capitalize on this opportunity and offers a pathway for growth and collaboration across industry, government, and university partners.”

As an emerging sector in the United States, offshore wind generates energy from faster, more consistent wind speeds than land-based wind generation, and can be leveraged to meet the vast energy needs of coastal states. Offshore wind farms that are supported by floating foundations are uniquely suited for deeper waters, allowing turbines to be located farther out to sea. Given Maine’s track record of innovation in floating foundation technology, interest from cooperative industry associations, a growing network of composites manufacturers, and immense offshore energy resource potential, Maine is well positioned to benefit from the rising demand for offshore wind technology.

The Great Recession hit Maine’s manufacturing sector hard, especially the pulp and paper industry, and the state has since exhibited the slowest-growing economy in New England. The effects of the economic downturn have reverberated across the state; between 2007 and 2017, the prime-age work force (those between the ages of 25 and 54) declined by 5 percent, leaving at least 30,000 Mainers not participating in the job market. As home to the oldest population in the United States, Maine also faces the challenge of stagnant population growth, a rapidly aging workforce, and a skills gap in the manufacturing sector. Growing the state’s offshore wind industry is a promising strategy for providing Mainers with gainful employment and attracting investment from global offshore wind firms.

“The U.S. offshore wind sector is about to take off, and Maine has an opportunity to shape this emerging industry,” said Mary Collins, director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report. “Maine is poised to be a leader in offshore wind innovation, manufacturing and deployment. It is home to R&D activities, key legacy industries, and an expansive coastline with enormous offshore wind resource potential. State leaders have the opportunity to steer the ship in the right direction and bring economic prosperity back to the state, providing thousands of much-needed jobs for communities.”

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The Maine Jobs Project finds that:

  • The offshore wind industry could support an average of 2,000 jobs each year through 2030. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.
  • Growth in demand for offshore wind energy is accelerating, with the industry projected to grow 16 percent annually through 2030.
  • Maine is home to concrete production and manufacturing facilities and assets that can be used to locally construct wind turbine components, such as floating foundations.
  • Maine could harness its natural resource potential to mobilize the offshore wind market in the Northeast by supplying expertise and products to facilitate an expected build out of 7.5 GW of offshore wind energy.

The report provides strategies designed to build up critical assets for industry growth in Maine, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development programs, business recruitment, and local market deployment. Recommendations include:

  • Re-establishing the Maine Planning Office to provide technical assistance, economic analyses, and coordinated resources in support of the state and municipal governments’ economic and energy planning needs;
  • Bolstering foreign direct investment (FDI) to fill critical gaps in the value chain and make Maine a desirable option for offshore wind companies seeking to expand to the United States;
  • Modernizing Maine’s economic development strategies to attract and expand new businesses;
  • Establishing a Northeast Offshore Wind Innovation Center to coordinate regional offshore wind R&D efforts, foster engagement with important industry players across the North Atlantic, leverage investments from the federal government and state governments, and set and achieve goals related to floating foundation technology;
  • Creating an Offshore Wind Business Development Fund to assist emerging businesses in overcoming barriers to market entry, such as high administrative costs and capital expenditures needed to retool operations; and
  • Establishing offshore wind certificate or degree programs to support a skilled workforce.

Visit the American Jobs Project Website to read the report.

 

Focusing on next-generation manufacturing could mean over 65,000 jobs for Oregon

SALEM, Ore. – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, Oregon could build on its advantages in the next-generation manufacturing industry to increase economic growth and support an average of more than 65,000 jobs annually. That’s according to The Oregon Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Next-Generation Manufacturing, a new report by the American Jobs Project in partnership with Oregon State University’s Advantage Accelerator and the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School.

“An average of 30 percent of the energy used in commercial and industrial buildings in the U.S. is wasted, and next-generation manufacturing can address that problem and boost businesses’ bottom lines,” said Melissa Powers, Professor and Director of the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School. “Next-generation manufacturing can bring about energy savings up and down the manufacturing supply chain, and demand for it is surging as energy-intensive industries become more efficient. This report offers a practical roadmap for capitalizing on these opportunities to create good-paying jobs by making and exporting next-generation manufacturing products.”

Next-generation manufacturing (NGM) products include technologies and tools built on the integration of information technology and operational machinery. They enable manufacturers to become more energy-efficient through reduced waste and improved productivity and can reduce costs and time to market. Two examples are 3D printers, which can produce parts with less input material than traditional methods; and Industrial Internet of Things devices and software, which optimize production through frequent and instantaneous communication among a manufacturer’s production facilities, transportation system, and software networks.

While Oregon’s economy has recovered significantly since the recession, economic growth has disproportionately benefited the state’s wealthiest residents. Middle-wage employment has gained back only about half of the jobs lost during the recession. And the state’s poverty rate and demand for need-based programs are stuck halfway between pre-recession lows and depth-of-the-recession highs. The need for economic growth that results in good-paying job creation is clear. Growing Oregon’s next-generation manufacturing technology industry represents a promising strategy to meet this need, with manufacturing jobs in Oregon paying an average of $36.21 per hour.

“Taking practical steps to grow businesses in Oregon’s next-generation manufacturing technology industry would put a lot of people to work, helping to rebuild the middle class and reduce economic disparities in the state,” said Kate Ringness, Director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report.

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The Oregon Jobs Project finds that:

  • Growth in demand for next-generation manufacturing products is accelerating, with some market segments expected to increase by a factor of nine by 2025.
  • With a base of at least 53 next-generation manufacturing hardware and software suppliers, the fourth-highest number of technical workers in the country as a proportion of its total workforce, and a vocal community of energy-efficiency NGOs, Oregon is well positioned to tap into this market growth. These assets are fortified by cutting-edge research institutions such as the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center and the Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Institute.
  • Oregon’s many semiconductor manufacturers, aerospace manufacturers, and food processors comprise strong potential local markets for Oregon-made next-generation manufacturing technology, and could serve as critical early customers for startups. Building on this base of local activity, Oregon’s next-generation manufacturing enterprises can tap into markets across the country and internationally, capitalizing on surging global demand for NGM technology.
  • The next-generation manufacturing industry could support an average of over 65,000 jobs each year through 2030. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.

The report provides state-specific strategies that take advantage of this economic opportunity and build up critical assets for industry growth, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development programs, business recruitment, and local market deployment. Recommendations include:

  • Expanding the successful Venture Catalyst network to enable statewide entrepreneur resource coordination;
  • Increasing funding and access for work-based learning opportunities to build a next-generation manufacturing workforce;
  • Increasing access to long-term capital by facilitating private investments by foundations, otherwise known as program-related and mission-related investments, in NGM startups;
  • Enacting a tax credit to reward businesses that invest in incumbent worker training; and
  • Creating a state-funded next-generation manufacturing showcase program to speed adoption in under-deployed manufacturing industries.

“Our research into Oregon’s next-generation manufacturing cluster shows a robust culture and ecosystem for energy efficiency and manufacturing innovation that the state can leverage to accelerate growth,” said Karl Mundorff, a Director of the Advantage Accelerator at Oregon State University. “The Oregon Jobs Project suggests a number of practical, targeted, and tested approaches to help the state capitalize on these advantages and become a national and global leader in next-generation manufacturing.”

Visit the American Jobs Project website at to read the report.

Focusing on advanced solar could mean over 6,800 jobs for New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, New Mexico could leverage its strengths in leading-edge advanced solar technologies to drive economic growth and support over 6,800 jobs annually. That’s according to The New Mexico Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Advanced Solar Technology, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at The University of New Mexico.

“New Mexico has already made significant investments to tap into the $1.4 trillion global advanced energy industry through natural gas and wind projects,” said Kate Ringness, director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report. “Our research shows that the state can continue to capitalize on this opportunity by becoming a hub for advanced solar technologies.”

“Advanced solar technologies” are solar products that go beyond run-of-the-mill solar panels. For example, flexible perovskite solar cells can be used in glazing to enable colorful, electricity-producing glass buildings. Micro-scale solar cells, or “solar glitter,” can be embedded into flexible, lightweight materials such as fabrics and used for applications from aerospace to emergency response. Thin film solar shingles can replace traditional roofing, offering building owners easier solar installation options.

“This report offers a practical roadmap for expanding advanced solar manufacturing in New Mexico to create good-paying manufacturing jobs in a sector that’s growing worldwide,” Ringness said.

These new jobs are needed because, since the onset of the last recession, New Mexico has lost one-quarter of its manufacturing jobs. The state ranks 49th in manufacturing as a share of total employment, at 3.2 percent. New Mexico faces a growing need for good-paying jobs to address unemployment and a large population of underemployed and low-wage workers.

“Fluctuating oil and gas revenues and resulting uncertainty in public finances, an overreliance on government jobs, and limited success in capitalizing on local talent to develop a vibrant technology sector have contributed to a slow post-recession recovery,” said Jeff Mitchell, director of the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “New Mexico has a unique opportunity to expand its small manufacturing sector and diversify its economy through advanced solar, putting thousands of people to work and stimulating local economies.”

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The New Mexico Jobs Project finds that:

  • The North American advanced solar industry is projected to grow 16.8 percent annually through 2030. China has cornered the global market for conventional solar cells, but New Mexico could become a leading innovator and manufacturer of advanced solar technologies, including hyper-efficient, inexpensive, multifunctional, and easy-to-integrate products. For example, next-generation solar cells can be embedded in building facades, window film, or roof tiles for on-site electricity generation, and concentrating solar power with thermal energy storage can quickly supply demand across a utility network.
  • New Mexico is well positioned to tap into this market growth given the state’s groundbreaking research across universities and national labs, generous state support for manufacturers, growing industry value chain, and immense solar resources. The state has 15 advanced solar manufacturers, including anchor companies Array Technologies, SolAero Technologies, and Unirac, as well as several solar installers and service companies. Existing incubators and accelerators, funding sources, and technical training programs could also be leveraged to strengthen the advanced solar industry.
  • In addition to tapping into broader markets, advanced solar technologies could greatly benefit New Mexico’s energy economy. Projects such as solar panels on streetlights, solar shingles on school buildings, and solar-powered networks for rural broadband could help deliver cost savings and basic services to communities across the state. Increasing New Mexico’s renewable energy supply could also strengthen utility portfolios and attract new businesses, such as Facebook’s Los Lunas Data Center.
  • New Mexico is already home to over 2,500 solar jobs. Through strategic growth of the advanced solar industry, the state could support an average of 6,800 jobs each year through 2030, greatly expanding the existing solar workforce. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.

The report provides state-specific strategies designed to take advantage of this economic opportunity and fortify critical assets for industry growth, including the innovation ecosystem, access to capital, workforce development, value chain build-out, and local market growth. Recommendations include:

  • Building a comprehensive cluster development strategy that encourages knowledge sharing, asset growth, and high-impact marketing.
  • Establishing an advanced solar center of excellence to catalyze innovation and support entrepreneurship.
  • Creating a technology maturation loan fund to increase the number of innovations that reach commercial development in the state.
  • Appointing a foundation liaison to leverage philanthropic support for essential programs.
  • Increasing opportunities to develop job readiness and industry-related skills to improve youth engagement in education and employment.

“With demand for advanced solar solutions increasing around the world, thousands of jobs are up for grabs for those who choose to lead,” said Athena Christodoulou, President of the New Mexico Solar Energy Association. “The New Mexico Jobs Project demonstrates how our state can seize this opportunity and offers a pathway for industry growth and collaboration across industry, government, and university partners.”

Visit the American Jobs Project website at http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/new-mexico/ to read the report.

 

Focusing on advanced energy sensors and controls could mean 44,000 jobs for Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – With targeted investments and forward-looking policies, Wisconsin could capitalize on its strengths in sensors and controls for the advanced energy industry to drive economic growth and support over 44,000 jobs annually. That’s according to The Wisconsin Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Sensors & Controls for Advanced Energy, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the Wisconsin Energy Institute and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium.

“Advanced energy is already producing $1.4 trillion in annual private-sector revenues around the world, and Wisconsin is well placed to take advantage of that growing market through advanced energy sensors and controls,” said Gary Radloff, Director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis at the Wisconsin Energy Institute. “This report offers a practical roadmap for creating good-paying jobs and growing the economy.”

During the recession, Wisconsin suffered a blow to its legacy manufacturing industry, and the state has yet to recover many of those jobs. In addition, Wisconsin faces a growing need for skilled talent due to an aging workforce, out-migration, and a significant number of underemployed and long-term unemployed residents.

“Taking practical steps to grow Wisconsin’s advanced energy sensors and controls sector while strengthening recruitment and retention efforts would put a lot of people to work, while growing the economy in communities across the state,” said Mary Collins, Director of the American Jobs Project and co-author of the report.

Based on extensive research and stakeholder outreach, The Wisconsin Jobs Project finds that:

  • The sensors and controls industry is projected to grow almost seven percent annually through 2022. Sensors and controls are hardware solutions that enable advanced energy technologies to be nimble and responsive to changing system-level conditions, such as weather patterns, available input resources, and energy demand. Advanced energy systems require extensive monitoring and operational controls to optimize production, minimize energy use, and leverage storage.
  • Wisconsin is well-positioned to tap into this market growth given the state’s base of at least 209 sensors and controls manufacturers, its skilled workforce and focus on technical training, and its engaged university research community. These state assets are fortified by anchor companies such as Johnson Controls and Rockwell Automation, and by clustering efforts in the energy, power, and control (EPC) sector and the energy-water nexus by the Midwest Energy Research Consortium and The Water Council.
  • Wisconsin also has the potential to build a strong local market for Wisconsin-made, sensor- and control-embedded technologies in the biogas, efficiency, grid, and solar industries. In-state deployment of sensors and controls for safer and more efficient technologies could not only bolster Wisconsin’s energy economy, but also help to divert back into Wisconsin communities some of the estimated $14 billion currently spent on energy imports.
  • Wisconsin’s sensors and controls industry could support an average of 44,000 jobs each year through 2030. This figure includes direct jobs from manufacturing and software development, indirect jobs from suppliers, and induced jobs from spending in the local economy.

The report provides state-specific strategies that take advantage of this economic opportunity and fortify critical assets for industry growth, including workforce development, access to capital, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Recommendations include:

  • Providing tax credits for student loan payments to retain college graduates and recruit out-of-state talent.
  • Increasing corporate engagement in the startup ecosystem through corporate venture capital.
  • Facilitating mentorships for entrepreneurs statewide to foster the entrepreneurial culture.
  • Developing testbeds for large-scale energy systems to accelerate technology development.
  • Establishing an innovation voucher program to support university-based consulting on local biogas projects.
  • Expanding the Focus on Energy program to include energy-water nexus projects.

“Our research into Wisconsin’s sensors and controls cluster shows a very robust supplier pipeline, along with concentrated expertise in the sector, providing Wisconsin with an in-state asset to leverage for additional growth potential,” said Connie Loden, Senior Project Manager at New North. “The Wisconsin Jobs Project suggests a number of well-defined, practical, and tested approaches to help Wisconsin take advantage of growing demand in this sector and position the state to become a global leader.”

Visit the American Jobs Project website at http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/wisconsin/ to read the report.

 

Energy efficiency can grow Minnesota’s economy and create quality jobs

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Building on Minnesota’s strengths in energy efficiency can maximize job growth and give the state a competitive economic edge. That’s according to The Minnesota Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Energy Efficiency, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the University of Minnesota. The report is funded by The JPB Foundation, Incite Labs, the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, the Fung Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society. This is the latest publication from the American Jobs Project after its release of ten state reports last year.

“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on industrial clusters can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” said Robin Sternberg, co-author of the Minnesota Jobs Project. “For Minnesota, this approach could employ an annual average of 26,000 people in the energy efficiency industry over the next 14 years.”

Millions of Americans lost good-paying jobs during the recession, and unfortunately, many of the jobs created during the recovery have been in relatively low-skill, low-income occupations. In contrast, the Minnesota Jobs Project proposes innovative strategies to create thousands of skilled jobs that pay well for Minnesotans today and into the future, informed by principles of competition, local control, and less red tape.

The report recommends state-specific policies and non-legislative solutions to support job creation by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components, including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.

The Minnesota Jobs Project finds that:

  • Minnesota is home to 450 companies that provide energy efficiency products and services, ranging from growing startups to large, established businesses. The robust supply chain can help foster a stronger manufacturing sector to supply growing national and regional demand.
  • The energy efficiency industry is an ideal mechanism for job growth in Minnesota due to the state’s company base, leading research universities with expertise in energy efficiency technology, strong innovative workforce, and attractive business climate. An increased focus on energy efficiency also aligns with the state’s clean energy leadership and capitalizes on extensive energy savings opportunities across Minnesota’s building stock.
  • By building strong economic foundations that support industry growth, Minnesota’s energy efficiency industry has the opportunity to employ an annual average of 26,000 Minnesotans for the next 14 years. This projection includes both new and sustained jobs.

University of Minnesota’s Ellen Anderson was an advisor to the Minnesota Jobs Project. Anderson stated, “The American Jobs Project offers a critical cluster-based approach to Minnesota’s energy efficiency industry that builds upon existing momentum in the state. The report provides clear and concrete strategies that state leaders can advance across government, industry, and academia. Continued leadership and collaboration can generate substantial energy savings while maximizing economic impacts, meaning more jobs for Minnesotans and increased revenue in the state.”

The American Jobs Project website features reports on Minnesota and many other states, as well as a Policy Bank detailing best practices and innovative ideas for job growth in the advanced energy industry. To learn more or to download a copy of the Minnesota report, visit http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/minnesota/.

Grid modernization can grow Washington’s economy and create quality jobs

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Building on Washington’s strengths in grid modernization can maximize job growth and give the state a competitive economic edge. That is according to The Washington Jobs Project: A Guide to Creating Jobs in Grid Modernization, a new report created by the American Jobs Project in partnership with the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute and Western Washington University. The JPB Foundation, Incite Labs, the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute, the Fung Institute, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society funded the report.

“Our research shows that smart policies and a focus on sector-based growth can allow states to become hubs of innovation and job creation in advanced industries that dovetail with a state’s own strengths,” said Kate Ringness, lead editor of The Washington Jobs Project. “By fostering the grid modernization industry in the state, Washington could reasonably support an average of over 13,800 direct, indirect, and induced manufacturing and supply chain jobs annually from 2017 through 2030.”

Millions of Americans lost good-paying jobs during the recession, and unfortunately, many of the jobs created during the recovery have been in relatively low-skill, low-income occupations. In contrast, The Washington Jobs Project proposes innovative strategies to create thousands of skilled jobs that pay well for Washingtonians today and into the future, informed by principles of competition, local control, and less red tape.

The report recommends state-specific policies and non-legislative solutions to support job creation by capitalizing on growing market opportunities and aligning manufacturing with critical economic system components, including access to capital, innovation ecosystems, and workforce development.

Grid modernization improves reliability, security, and resiliency of the electric grid; ensures efficient transmission and distribution of electricity; creates two-way communications pathways between consumers and utilities; and enables flexibility in how electricity is generated. Grid modernization technology includes: energy storage, advanced sensors, high-voltage direct current transmission and distribution lines, transformers, smart meters, and Internet of Things platforms for grid management.

“Washington State stands ready to become a leading global innovation center for advanced grid and energy storage technologies based on our solid economic foundation that mixes research, industry and policy,” said J. Thomas Ranken, president & CEO of the CleanTech Alliance. “Building programs to optimize and accelerate research, industry and policy collaboration can propel our state forward while creating thousands of clean energy jobs that improve our economy, energy resiliency and our lives.”

The Washington Jobs Project finds that:

  • Washington state holds a competitive advantage in the grid modernization sector, thanks to its:
    • Well-established anchor companies such as Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Itron, and Doosan GridTech.
    • World-class research facilities including the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory performing cutting-edge research in grid modernization.
    • Proven competitive advantage in the internet of things—a key element of grid modernization technology.
    • Strategic export location to the Pacific Northwest and Asia.
    • Well-educated workforce.
    • State and corporate leaders’ commitment to increase the deployment of renewable energy generation.

By building strong economic foundations that support industry growth, Washington’s grid modernization industry has the potential to support 13,800 direct, indirect, and induced jobs, on average, annually from 2017 through 2030.

Director of the University of Washington’s Clean Energy Institute, Daniel Schwartz, and Director of Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies, Joel Swisher, were partners in The Washington Jobs Project. Schwartz stated, “The Washington jobs report makes clear that jobs in the advanced energy sector benefit the entire state today, and with smart policy, wise investment and partnerships, we have an extraordinary opportunity to drive job growth that touches every county.”

The Washington Jobs Project offers policy recommendations that could help grow Washington’s grid modernization industry. These include:

  • Strengthening the state’s foreign direct investment strategy.
  • Providing tax incentives to grid modernization companies.
  • Supporting access to university and national lab resources for small businesses.
  • Expanding career-connected learning in high schools.
  • Incentivizing utility innovation.

To learn more and download a copy of the Washington report, visit http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/washington/.