The Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm) says wind turbine service technician jobs should grow 61% over the next decade, the #1 fastest growing job for the next decade. Solar photovoltaic [PV] installer* is the third fastest growing job with a growth rate of 51%.
Now imagine if we pursued a goal of 100% renewables by 2030. Mark Z Jacobson and his team have provided one possible roadmap to do just that (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/2/3/1831985/-100-Renewables-by-2030).
Even more jobs would be created if we got serious about energy efficiency and began to retrofit our existing buildings to net zero energy or near net zero energy standards, where a building provides all or most of the energy it needs on its own. Such building energy standards are being gradually adopted in the EU and CA where all building, including renovations, will have to meet those standards by 2030. In addition, there is at least one company, EnergieSprong, which is developing prefab, mass production methods to do such energy retrofits on existing buildings (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/9/1824927/-Mass-Production-of-Net-Zero-Energy-Retrofits-for-Single-Family-Homes).
For comparison, in 1979 Jimmy Carter’s energy plan called for insulating 90% of American homes and all new buildings and use solar energy in more than 2.5 million homes by 1985. There were 1.3 million solar installations in the USA in 2017 by one count and may be 1.9 million in 2019 by another. The DOE predicted there will be 3.8 million solar homes by the end of 2020. (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/12/17/1906361/-What-I-Read-in-the-Green-New-Deal-for-Public-Housing-Bill). However, since there are over 83 million single family homes in the USA, we still have a long way to go.
I’ve been wondering for a while now why politicians, citizen advocates, and organizations who support action on climate don’t focus on this extremely positive aspect of confronting climate crisis. We seem to like scaring ourselves more than focusing on building a really livable future (https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/20/1851903/-Why-isn-t-job-growth-the-first-thing-climate-activists-mention).
These first days of a Biden administration may be the perfect time to be practical and demand the impossible: making 90% of our homes net zero or near net zero energy and getting 100% of our energy from renewables by 2030.
*Solar installer should be a highly trained and skilled job (with better pay) as 92% of solar system failures are from installation mistakes, according to Scott Sklar, a long-time energy advocate and practitioner. North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (https://www.nabcep.org) certifies installers and you might want to ask if your installer has heard of them.