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Four Green Industry Developments: Good News in Transportation, Carbon Management, and Solar

Green Career Tip of the Week

"Chaos happens. Let's make better use of it."

~Edward Tenner
 
Don't know about you, but after the news developments of the last few weeks, I needed to tap into some good news.

Earlier in the week a few interesting stories caught my eye, so I went on a search for more green/clean/sustainable economy news items with a positive bottom line.  I thought you too might benefit from a breath of fresh air as well. Here are the highlights of my tour.


All the best,

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Tip of the Week: Four Green Industry Developments: Good News in Transportation, Carbon Management, and Solar
 
 
If you even begin to doubt that the green/clean/sustainable economy is happening, take some time to review a few green blogs. You never know what innovation you'll learn about or what industry report you've find that provides enough information to show you upcoming trends that may be relevant to your career.

Compressed Air Vehicles

Imagine running your vehicle on AIR alone! Not only is it possible, there are two companies--one in Nice, France and one in Melbourne, Australia - that have not only created prototypes, but vehicles that are in use.  Rather than requiring fuel to create power, both of these models pump compressed air to move the pistons.  No emissions of any kind.  The French version of this vehicle is due to be released on the European market in 2012 for less than $15,000!

To learn more details, take a look at the 8 minute video...fast moving, detailed explanations of the two models. The beginning of a new trend in alternative transportation?
 
Cap and Trade Approved in California
 
The California Air Resource Board voted unanimously to approve the cap-and-trade program to begin in mid-2012. This program has been in the works since the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) was signed. As one of 70 measures to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the cap and trade program will contribute 20% of this reduction goal.

Although there are other regional cap and trade systems in place, this is the first one that covers such a large proportion of the economy. Think utilities, natural gas, fuels, power plants, cement factories, and refineries. When companies produce a ton of emissions, they must hand over an emissions allowance. In the initial phase of this program, emitting companies will purchase 10% of the allowances they'll need and they'll receive the other 90% for free. Overtime companies will need to purchase more and more of the needed allowances. With this single action will motivate emission-reduction innovations in a variety of industries - the companies the produce the emissions, clean tech companies that invent relevant technologies, and carbon offset projects.

As the 8th largest economy in the world, California's actions often trigger a ripple effect of adoption in other states and beyond over time.

Managing Carbon - A Trend with a Bright Future
 
A new report, Carbon Management Software and Services, released by Pike Research highlights the growth of software and services needed to manage carbon. You'd think that the lack of a national energy policy would mean that companies aren't taking on the challenge of measuring, tracking, and reducing their carbon emissions. But that's not the case. The majority of Fortune 500 companies are in fact taking actions to track their carbon emissions. As are small and medium sized companies.

The report estimates that this sector is forecast to grow nationally and globally as companies embrace initiatives to make their operations more energy efficient, emphasize the sustainability of their brand, and manage their supply chain more closely. Globally the market is forecasted to be $5.7 billion by 2017, with $1.1 billion of that in North America.

At this point, companies of all sizes are relying on internally developed software. This is expected to change as more companies migrate to established carbon management software solutions and rely on consulting firms to help them drive their carbon management efforts.  Refer to the report for information about the companies providing carbon management software and services in this sector.

Don't Count Out the Solar Industry Quite Yet!
 
You've no doubt heard the news that a solar manufacturer in California, Solyndra, closed amid a lot of finger pointing and exaggerated conclusions about the health of the entire solar industry.

Take a look at the facts reported by the Solar Foundation in the National Solar Jobs Census 2011that includes all facets of the solar industry from manufacturing to installation for residential, commercial, and large-scale projects.
  • From August 2010 to August 2011 the solar industry grew 6.8 percent nationally...when the overall job growth in the US was less than 1 percent.
  • There are currently 17,000 solar sites and 100,237 solar jobs. All 50 states reported jobs in the solar industry. The top 10 states--California, Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Texas, Oregon, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
  • The industry estimates more growth next year, an estimate of market growth of 24% with a 22% growth in Installation, 14% in manufacturing, 35% in sales and distribution, and 17% growth in other areas of the solar industry.
Investments in the solar industry continue. And, even more importantly, financial vehicles to help residential and commercial customers fund the installation of solar. These new vehicles are likely to make solar more accessible to many.

A Few Tips for Reading Reports

I know it can be overwhelming to think about reading an entire green industry report. Who has the time to read through all the details! If you are pressed for time, focus your attention on the executive summary, data graphs, maps, and lists. When you find something that intrigues you, take a deeper look at the text.
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 Copyright 2011, Transition Dynamics Enterprises, Inc

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About Us

Green Career Central(TM) is an online coaching and resource center designed to help mid-career professionals, students, new grads, and career counselors make sense of the green economy and the green job market.

Carol McClelland, PhD, author of the award-winning, Green Careers For Dummies, is one of the nation's leading green career experts and founder of Green Career Central. Throughout her career, Carol has helped thousands of people find careers that match their values and interests. 
 
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