Friday, November 14, 2008

Greencollar Jobs: Greenery may create jobs—but not the ones its boosters think

Discussion of greencollar jobs is usually short on specifics so I'll do a mini data-dump for you.
Three major wind companies have recently set up shop in Arkansas. Turbine maker Nordex will pay an average $17.00/hr. Blade manufacturer LM Glasfiber was recently advertising for production tecnicians at $12.13/hr. and Polymarin Composites will pay its 830 employees an average of $15.00. sources
In contrast there is a cottage industry that pays considerably more, from our May 30, post

"Green Collar Jobs: What Do they Pay?"

With all the political positioning of climate legislation as 'creating' jobs it is startling how reticent the proponents are about actual numbers. From doing due diligence I know some of the numbers but public sources that have specific wages that I can link to aren't common.

Some of the jobs are well paying. For example the insiders at First Solar have sold $1.1 Billion worth of stock in the last 15 months.
(bless those German hausfraus paying the feed-in tariff)

The City of San Francisco seems like a good place to look for work:

..."If there are 25 people working on climate protection issues for the city, that's a good start," Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said....
...At least 12 San Francisco Public Utilities Commission staff members work on climate issues related to water and energy, including a $146,000-a-year "projects manager for the climate action plan."...
The list doesn't include the scores of staff members who work on broader environmental policies, like the recently hired $130,700-a-year "greening director" in Newsom's office...
At the top of the food chain are guys like Lord Nicholas Stern (he of the eponymous report), now Vice-chair of carbon consultancy IDEAglobal and Al Gore (Generation Investment Management and Kleiner Perkins) In-between the San Francisco folks and Mr. Gore you have the $250k-$5mm/yr. carbon traders, CDM project developers, etc. and guys like Tony Blair and his former Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir David King, who have both found gigs as climate/carbon consultants.

From The Economist:

The green pound

...Britain is keen on windmills for two reasons. First, it has promised big reductions in carbon emissions (an 80% drop by 2050 compared with 1990) and a barely credible boost in the amount of energy it gets from renewable sources (15% by 2020). And second, ministers see green power as a growth industry. Gordon Brown said in June, for example, that renewable energy could provide 160,000 new jobs. The prime minister compared its potential with the explosive growth in the 1970s and 1980s of the offshore oil industry....

...Happily, the service sector is more adventurous. Even as the Danes, Spanish and Germans were cornering the market in turbines, the City of London was developing green-energy services. It now hosts the world’s biggest carbon-trading exchange and has a profitable line in renewable-energy finance. Greenery may indeed create new jobs, but chances are that they will not be the ones Mr Brown has in mind.

HT: Environmental Capital