WIND IS WHERE THE JOBS ARE_
Extract of full article By Mark Sumner in Daily KOS
Thursday Apr 27, 2017 · 2:40 PM
The fastest-growing occupation in the United States — by a long shot, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — might surprise you: wind turbine technician. …
In 2016, for the first time, more than 100,000 people in the United States were employed in some manner by the wind industry, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the American Wind Energy Association.
Wind and solar are about to become unstoppable, natural gas and oil production are approaching their peak, and electric cars and batteries for the grid are waiting to take over. This is the world Donald Trump inherited as U.S. president. And yet his energy plan is to cut regulations to resuscitate the one sector that’s never coming back: coal.One thing the Bloomberg article shows is just how much good news there is on the energy front. Renewables aren’t just becoming more common, economies of scale are continuing to drive down costs, which drives up the market, which drives down cost, which has driven renewables to the tipping point.
Unsubsidized wind and solar are beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas in an ever-widening circle of countries.Wind and solar are generators in themselves. They can join the grid incrementally. That small scale, incremental nature is a big part of what’s helped vault natural gas ahead of coal, but it’s even more true of wind and solar. They can come in one field, one rooftop at a time. It’s no wonder that traditional suppliers are working so hard to pass laws that restrict the ease of adding small-scale wind and solar to the grid, because both are at the point where they could roll the market, with every gain leading to the next.
The other good news in the Bloomberg report—carbon emissions in the United States fell 23 percent during the Obama administration. Part of that was the cleaner mix of sources, but it was also a simple fall in demand as those mean old LED lights, flat-screen TVs, and higher efficiency appliances simply cut demand. The US is already halfway to the goals set in the Paris agreement.
The end result is truly amazing.
Power is getting cleaner and cheaper at the same time we are needing less power. That’s putting pressure on the market to get cheaper still. And increasingly the only source that can compete at the prices the market is demanding is … wind and solar.