Tag Archives: green energy

Let’s put Lowndes County on the Clean Economy Map!

Look where those clean economy jobs are:
Among regions, the South has the largest number of clean economy jobs though the West has the largest share relative to its population. Seven of the 21 states with at least 50,000 clean economy jobs are in the South. Among states, California has the highest number of clean jobs but Alaska and Oregon have the most per worker.

A per-county map is included, on which you can see North Carolina and Atlanta, but nothing in south Georgia. Let’s put Lowndes County on the clean energy map!

The gigaom article recommends:

To help boost the clean energy economy even more, the Brookings report suggests that Congress could pass a national clean energy standard, put a price on carbon, use the government as a chief customer of cleantech goods (Obama has been strong on this), find more ways to help proven clean technologies pass the so-called Valley of Death, as well as increase funding for basic science and early-stage high risk projects (like the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program).
That’s good stuff, but we don’t have to wait for the feds. The Wiregrass Solar plant sets a precedent that we can build on. That plant is readily expandable to an additional megawatt. It can also be used to attract financing for other projects, projects that can use local labor, for example solar electricity and hot water like the example in Quitman.

Lots of places have forged ahead into real clean energy on their own, such as Birmingham, England and San Antonio.

Sure, we’re not nearly as big as those places, or so local “leaders” remind me. So let’s find some projects of our scale that we can do, and let’s do them! A real leader might say, as Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio did, that renewable energy is

“…the nexus between sustainability and job creation. Every now and then, perhaps once in a generation, there presents itself a moment, an opportunity, for those cities that are willing to seize it, to truly benefit the region for generations to come.”
That opportunity is right here in south Georgia, waiting for us to seize it.


Clean jobs exceeding fossil fuel jobs

Qualified good news.

Katie Fehrenbacher wrote 12 July 2011 for gigaom, The clean economy employs more workers than fossil fuels,

The green technology and clean power industries are currently employing more workers than their dirty fossil fuel peers. That’s according to a report released from the Brookings Institution, which has crunched the numbers of jobs created in the U.S. by sectors like solar, wind, waste water recycling, public transportation and energy efficiency retrofits.
Qualified because Brookings includes not only wastewater and mass transit (good stuff, albeit a bit odd fit) but also biomass (ick).

However, even during the recession,

…newer clean economy establishments— especially those in young energy-related segments such as wind energy, solar PV, and smart grid—added jobs at a torrid pace, albeit from small bases.

Not just jobs, but good-paying jobs:

The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole. Median wages in the clean economy—meaning those in the middle of the distribution—are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages. Yet a disproportionate percentage of jobs in the clean economy are staffed by workers with relatively little formal education in moderately well-paying “green collar” occupations.

Yeah, but what does that mean to us? See next post.


Sign up for renewable energy from Georgia Power —Jaime Hockin @ Solar Summit

Panelist Jaime Hockin of Georgia Power pointed out that gapower customers can sign up for green energy right now. Here’s where: Residential Green Energy Signup.
  1. Standard Green Energy Option: $3.50 (plus tax) a month per 100 kWh block.
    This option delivers Green-e Energy certified renewable energy that is generated entirely by biomass.
  2. Premium Green Energy with Solar Option: $5.00 (plus tax) a month per 100 kWh block.
    This option delivers Green-e Energy certified renewable energy that contains a mix of at least 50% solar and 50% biomass energy.
You get a separate line item on your bill for whichever one you buy.

Some people claim that there’s no way to do this because it’s just electrons once it gets on the wire. Sure, and money is just dollars once you spend it. But contracts can determine where those dollars go, and in exchange for what:

Due to the way electricity is transmitted and distributed, energy purchased or produced from renewable energy resources may not be specifically delivered to you. However, the renewable energy you purchase will be added to the power grid and will displace incremental power that would have otherwise been produced from traditional generating resources.
So as Jaime Hockin advised, if you want to show you want renewable energy, and you are a Georgia Power customer, sign up and Georgia Power will hear you!


Solar and Georgia Electric Member Corporations

Connect the panels John Oxford writes in the Moultrie Observer about Green energy at Expo:
Although no solar panels have been installed in Colquitt County yet, Park said they and other green power sources are gaining popularity in Georgia. Solar panels have been installed by EMCs across the state , and EMC is looking to more ways to make use of otherwise wasted materials.
Well, maybe not in Colquitt County, but Colquitt EMC has a grid tie to a solar installation in Lowndes County.

PS: The Moultrie Observer has the most annoying online ad on that page that I’ve run into in a long time.