Whether we like it or not, we will be forced to make plenty of new energy choices in the decades ahead. Who knows what will emerge as the dominant "energy flavor," but the sources of energy we use today for shelter, lighting, entertainment and transportation will be replaced. Regardless of your view as to when, few argue that this energy evolution is upon us. For a large segment of the American population, 75% in the lastest polling data, a move to Alternative Energy sources is what they want. The trick is to make the evolution a seemless and cost neutral process, as the same 75% don't want to pay more for it!
There are innovators all across the country tht are working on this very challenge as you read this article. Their goal is to make the energy evolution a "Clean Energy Revolution." If you want to be a part of crafting,directing and implementing new Clean Energy solutions - then don’t sit on the sidelines - jump into the fray. About 90% of people being hired for Clean Energy jobs have no prior Clean Energy experience, but they do bring a desire to Make a Difference, the passion to solve tough challenges and the ability to adapt and bring their core skills to bear in this emerging energy industry. By finding a place to network with those currently working in the industry, and with others just like you, who are looking for their niche (Trust me, I know of just such a place – Clean Journey anyone?), you can learn about the best fit in your area to begin helping to make history.
What's the Mystery?
Like any emerging industry, engineers and technologists are coming up with these novel approaches and once proven they need people to help them commercialize their ideas. People with Project Management, Sales, Marketing and Testing & Validation Engineering skills are highly sought after. In addition, different from IT and Software, many of these businesses typically rely on creating a physical “widget” that needs to have raw materials sourced, manufactured, packaged, marketed, sold, shipped, and installed. As Clean Tech and Alternative Energy companies mature to midsize, as many are doing today, they are in need of people to provide process engineering, systems of all kinds, human resources, finance, customer service and administrative support – everyone of which is absolutely a Green Job!
So there is really no mystery to Green Jobs, like any industry, pretty much all jobs found in non-Green industries are found here too. A Green Job is merely one where the work done promotes smarter uses of energy, alternative energy generation, sustainable business and consumer practices or in some way lowers Green House Gas emissions. There are hundreds of Green Jobs available TODAY - and they’re found in every region of the country. Obviously the size of the company is also something to consider. Smaller companies and Start-Ups are certainly more risky, but they are great for quickly expanding your Career Toolkit since you will more than likely be asked to tackle multiple roles that will provide an enhanced experience. While a midsized company will provide a greater degree of job security, and can potentially provide more resources to draw from to get projects accomplished.
Regardless of the company size, at our website Clean Journey, it is our job to uncover the most interesting Clean Energy companies, shine a light on what makes them unique, and create Talent Communities that provide the opportunity for those interested to network with people that work there - opening up avenues to get noticed and eventually hired. The ultimate goal is to help thousands of people transition to the Green Economy.
This is why it is such an intriguing time for anyone who decides to throw their hat into the Clean Tech ring. It is just the beginning, and not only are the opportunities over whelming, but the chance to not only witness – but to make history are huge! Of course, you can see how this led to the founding of Clean Journey, the first Internet based Talent Community focused solely on Clean Energy and Sustainable business. What lies ahead?
There is little doubt that we will reach the peak of global oil reserves in the not too distant future with limited possibilities to use this resource to grow our economies. So the race is on to see what technology will best replace oil so we can continue to grow and prosper. It is an exhilarating race that will obviously become greater in importance once Peak Oil is reached. There is little hope that we will be able to replace oil before that happens with Biofuels, Electric Vehicles, Solar, Wind or some other source yet to be fine tuned for public unveiling – but as that time approaches the industry will be cruising! There are so many opportunities at companies that are focused on this task. People with every conceivable role or function to play is already involved in Green Jobs tackling our transportation, petro chemical and heating replacements for oil. These Green Jobs are found in every part of the country from engineering, to chemicals to manufacturing, to sales and marketing and business development and on and on. (Don’t worry Clean Journey will help you find them…).
Find Carbon – Lower the Costs…
An area that could provide us a bit more time to make the transition to Clean Energy resources is in changing the way we use energy. For example, 20% of all US energy is used in commercial buildings – that are powered and cooled by coal, heated by oil and natural gas and built with little concern for temperature control or electrical usage. In other words, there are building dinosaurs in every region where a huge potential to create “negawatts” of power through energy efficiency and infrastructure improvements can and is happening. A terrific corporate Sustainability Officer once told me, “…if you find the carbon, you’ll find the money,” what he meant was that where there is carbon emissions in your operation, you will be able to cut costs and save your company tons of money by rooting them out and eliminating them. The Energy Services industry is one that understands that concept perfectly. One of the fastest growing Clean Energy business sectors, the great part of the equation is that Energy Service companies help their customers lower their carbon footprints, their energy usage and most importantly their costs by making use of Clean Tech products (Solar PV, Wind Turbines, LED Lights, Smart Meters, etc.). This cross pollination of business sectors is beginning to occur regularly and is providing a much needed source of revenue for Clean Tech hardware companies. This industry is starved for Energy Engineers, these are people that can analyze a campus of buildings and uncover the inefficiencies. They also need project management, sales people who can work with large long term sales cycles, systems integrators and government liaisons among many others.
Making a Smarter Grid
In most parts of the country, an electric Utility in this technologically advanced world, unbelievably only knows that they have a power outage when a customer calls them on the phone to tell them their power is off! In fact, there have been few changes in the way we deliver electricity to end users in the U.S. since the “grid” was first installed over a hundred years ago. With all that said, the electric grid is one of the most incredibly reliable “machines” ever built. We rarely if ever think about energy when we flick on a light switch – yet it is always there, always works and if it doesn’t it’s probably that the other ancient machine still in use – the incandescent light bulb - has probably burned out (actually, incandescent bulbs are mandated to be taken off store shelves by 2012 - another great opportunity to join a new age LED lighting company…).
Reliability and efficiency are two very different things and that is where the grid is in for an overhaul. Dozens of brilliant technologists are working on all types of methods to control and monitor peak demand periods more efficiently and improve the way we measure, store and distribute our electricity. The potential for success of the Smart Grid business sector is driving a huge amount of public and private investment to make an efficient grid a reality. Much of the technology in the works uses software and information technology systems, and many Smart Grid companies have evolved more quickly. If this is an area you have interest in, time to stake out the companies in your area and chart a course to get yourself known by them.
We’ll keep doing our best to demystify and clarify the Clean Energy Industry and will continue to point out the very best places to consider for Green Economy Career Investment.
Stay tuned, in future articles we will break down each sector in finer detail – drilling into the career opportunities that abound.