Boosting Job Creation
Mandy Olson, PE, is Engineering Manager for the Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell with more than a decade of experience, specializing in the design of electric power substations. She is an active member of CIGRE and IEEE.
The American job market has had a rough ride in 2020, with unemployment numbers reaching dizzying levels. Opportunities for job growth are a much-needed balm for a bruised economy.
Interestingly, the movement toward greater reliance on renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions could offer some potent possibilities for job creation.
The drive toward decarbonization and the urgency of an economic boost could combine to incentivize policymakers to initiate changes that would support infrastructure buildouts for integrating renewable energy resources and increasing electrification of the transportation sector.
Renewable Resource Infrastructure
The University of California, Berkeley, released its 2035 Report earlier this year, examining the prospects and effects of a concerted effort in the United States to get to ninety percent carbon-free electricity by 2035. Much of the technology to decarbonize the grid already exists. Better yet, it is becoming more affordable.
With prices declining for many renewable technologies, even areas with less robust renewable resources are becoming viable options for siting. The industry is poised for rapid growth, and the economy stands to benefit at a time when it needs a boost.