With the demand for renewables increasing more and more to fight climate change, the opportunities for new industries and job creation grows as well. This is because both more jobs and new jobs and skills are needed to create, manufacture, install, operate, and maintain these new sources of energy.
To meet this rapidly growing demand, especially after President Biden’s infrastructure deal is passed, more jobs and skills mean that more educational opportunities and, apprenticeships will be created and immediate employment with on-the-job training will become broadly available.
The impact will also be felt across society. The new rapidly growing green capitalistic marketplace can help the neglected rural and urban communities of color in America. To meet the new demand, economic differences that have a racial origin are likely to be reduced, as neglected populations are drawn in, adding to and growing the economy for all. There is also another positive aspect here: employment with educational opportunities will be provided, by-passing the need to go to a costly school or university, racking along the way major debt without a guaranteed job upon graduating.
As more Americans rejoin the workforce after the enforced pause caused by the pandemia or seek out new opportunities in a changing economy, the need for skills development opportunities for workers of all kinds has never been greater. In order to ensure workers have ready access to the skills they will need to succeed and to improve racial and gender equity, President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $100 billion in proven workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups and getting students on paths to careers before they graduate from high school. For many, this may well prove to be the most efficient path to a long-lasting stable career.
Major corporations appear set to profit from the emerging opportunities, enhancing their public image through adept use of government incentives. For instance, Microsoft announced in mid-July a solar energy partnership with Volt Energy, a Black-owned solar energy development firm, to supply Microsoft with 250 megawatts of solar power. It’s just one small power purchase agreement in the technology giant’s pledge of using 100% renewable energy by 2025, but it stands out on two counts. Not only is it being done with a minority-led firm, but it has been structured so that a portion of the profits are used to develop renewable energy sources in underserved communities across the United States. The deal was Microsoft’s first utility-scale solar power purchase agreement with an African American energy solar development firm.
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There is also an ongoing international race in who can create, manufacture, and prove to have the best, most efficient renewable energy resource. Whoever can create and prove this, will have the first-mover capability on the international renewable energy market since global warming is a global problem.
Traditionally, energy-rich countries were on the frontline because of access to natural resources. Now it is up to who within a nation can create, not what the nation may already have. To increase the chances of this happening, education needs to be reformed so it appropriately meets the need for new skills and it should be made readily available not only to a select few, but to as many people as possible regardless of race, social, or economic status. In short, education will play a key role in increasing a nation’s chances of becoming a first mover and a major exporter in the green capitalistic market.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: a renewable energy engineer intern. Featured Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder.