14. April  27,  2010 Bill  Opalkaof  technical  careers.
15. Heather  Clancy
16. to  Follow
19. June  28,  2010  |
20. David  O.  Williams
22. Eric  Wilson
23. June  1,  2010  |  Mike  Cote   -­‐
24. June  2,  2010#3  DENVER-­‐-­‐
26. June  11,  2010
27. June  10,  2010   -­‐
28. June  10,  2010June  10,  2010
29. June  20,  2010
30. June  20,  2010technology.
31. June  28,  2010 Joey  Kirchmer -­‐she  said.
33. Crystal  Thomas
34. Ecotech  Institute
35. Put twice the wind in your sails:2010 HUSUM WindEnergy 2011 Wind
37. Carol  Tice
38. TRACKING RENEWABLE TALENT From green power brokers, attorneys, and ﬁnancial experts to wind turbine technicians, the demand for wind-speciﬁc expertise will only grow in the coming years. By Alison Wise Alison Wise is director of career services at the Ecotech Institute. Go online to www.ecotechinstitute.com.ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, the wind en- cil of Economic Advisers found that the cleanergy sector is primed for tremendous growth. energy investments of the American RecoveryMore states have set renewable portfolio stan- and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are not only cre-dards, and with the oil spill disaster in the Gulf ating jobs today, but for the future. The cleanof Mexico the federal government is poised to energy provisions of ARRA alone have alreadypass meaningful energy legislation that could saved or created 63,000 jobs and are expectedinclude a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. to create more than 700,000 by 2012. The move to a new energy economy offers a Clean energy jobs, according to the ARRA,lot of positive outcomes such as lessened de- are defined as new work for skilled laborers whopendence on the grid, more sustainable busi- can install efficient heating and cooling systemsness activities, and a host of new jobs. To meet and windows, retrofit homes to save electric-these opportunities America’s workforce, like ity, and can build and install solar panels, windits energy economy, will need to be retooled to turbines, and other clean energy technologies.meet the growing demand for skilled labor in These investments are positioning the Ameri-wind and other energy-producing sectors. can workforce to remain competitive and keep A January 2009 report delivered by the Coun- our nation at the forefront of a new low-carbon42 SEPTEMBER | 2010
39. University; Al Zeitz, director of North Ameri- can Operations at the DeWind Co.; and Colin Coyne, managing principal of the Coyne Group, LEED 2.0 accredited professional and lecturer of sustainable enterprise at the Kellogg School of Management on “Sustainable Strategy.” SETTING THE STAGE According to the American Council on Renew- able Energy (ACORE), the anticipated increase in wind power energy by 2040 will be significant, as much as a tenfold increase when compared with today’s production and consumption. In addition, a study released in February 2010 by Navigant Consulting, Inc., found that the num- ber of renewable energy jobs would more than double by 2025 if the nation adopted a plan to require 25 percent of its electricity from re- newable sources. Several states currently have renewable portfolio standards, and the trend is continuing. “As we approach global peak oil in the next 25 years, optimistically, we must be able to di- versify into the many sources available in order to sustain energy production that will allow our economy to grow without intermittent short- ages, security vulnerabilities, extreme costs, or environmental degradation,” says Ghassemi. Sourcing United Nations data, an increasing population is a considerable factor when looking at alternative energy demand. “With projected population growth exceeding 9 billion people by 2050,” he continues, “global energy consumption worldwide, as well as the estimated domestic de- mand, increases the need for production, avail- ability, and delivery of energy from all renewable sources .” According to Zeitz there are a number of rea- sons to anticipate growth in the wind industry, including its benefits as a clean source of electri- cal power and a good investment. “The devel- opment of wind energy for electrical power is growing more popular in the private sector,” he says. “Many people would like to see more wind turbines installed to generate electrical power.”global economy. At the same time, these ini- “In the past three years, worldwide wind pow-tiatives are changing the way that we produce, er capacity has more than doubled,” Coyne adds.distribute, and use energy to reduce green “This is largely due to wind power becoming ahouse gas emissions and cut our dependence cost competitive alternative, especially whenon foreign oil . one considers that a wind plant is far less ex- To better understand where the wind indus- pensive to construct than a conventional energytry is headed and how to meet the increasing plant. Of course, one can’t ignore the general de-job demand, Ecotech Institute spoke to three mand for clean power. Certainly this debate willmembers of its board of advisors who special- heat up with recent events in the Gulf of Mexico.ize in the wind energy sector and helped devel- New clean air standards will also accelerate de-op the school’s curriculum. Those weighing in mand.”on the industry’s potential and the demand fortalent include Abbas Ghassemi, Ph.D., direc- DEMAND FOR TALENTtor of the Institute for Energy and the Environ- As with growth in any industry, skilled workersment, WERC executive director, and professor are essential to meet the demand. In the caseof chemical engineering at New Mexico State of wind power, people must be able to know windsystemsmag.com 43
40. how to build and sustain tools, equipment, path for people interested in entering the greenand technology. Ultimately, this means jobs— economy with the right education. Ecotech In-which is obviously positive in a tough econo- stitute offers seven associate’s degrees and amy—but what kind of jobs will they be? Our certificate program.experts underscored the increasing need for When asked about Ecotech Institute’s roleeducated, skilled workers across the industry, in training future workers in the wind indus-and what they could be doing. try, the experts were excited about applicable “There are many different kinds of jobs job training, especially for wind technicians.needed to support the growth of the wind “The wind companies are obviously adept atindustry,” says Zeitz. “However, the greatest what they do. However, graduates of Ecotechnumber of jobs needed in the wind industry will bring much needed, on the ground, prag-will be technicians. Wind turbine technicians matic knowledge,” Coyne says. “The issue forare the backbone of the wind industry, and wind companies is taking what has largelythese technicians will be required to keep the been small-scale or theoretical models andgrowing fleet of wind turbines maintained.” turning them into full-scale operations. This “From green power brokers to wind turbine requires well-trained technicians who under-technicians, the demand for jobs will be sub- stand the engineering behind the technology,stantial,” Coyne says. “At a very pragmatic level, available in sufficient numbers, and groundedthe demand for technicians to serve these new in the mechanical realities of wind power con-facilities will be great, as will attorneys and version.”paralegals who understand the unique nuanc- Ghassemi believes that Ecotech can helpes of green power and green power incentives, companies find and place “trained individualsreal estate leases, and project financing.” to participate in this growth. Ecotech gradu- “To address the ongoing and emerging needs ates will be able to fill the niche in all of thefor installers, operators, managers, field crew, sectors, including manufacturing in severaland supervisors, we should train individuals positions.”in mechanical and electrical fields specific to “With the number of turbines that are cur-wind power,” according to Ghassemi. “As the rently installed, and those that are scheduledramp-up takes place, there will be significant to be installed,” Zeitz says, “the greatest de-growth in the manufacturing area for wind mand is for skilled technicians to commission,blades, structures, gearboxes, and associated troubleshoot, and maintain them.”hardware, emerging software, and technolo-gies. There will also be a tremendous growth AN ENTHUSIASTIC FUTUREfor individuals to maintain and repair gearbox- A look at the future is exciting for people in-es, energy storage devices, and utility service/ side and outside the field. With the potentialintegration functions.” to bring more sustainable choices to the mar- ketplace and bolster new, diverse workforces,CREATING SKILLED WORKERS the wind industry offers promise. “We need toEcotech Institute, which recently opened its continue to be mindful of our energy availabil-doors in Aurora, Colorado, was created to help ity, production, use, and delivery,” says Ghas-fill this demand. The first and only school in semi. “While we need to have scientists andthe United States entirely focused on renew- engineers doing their part in making this hap-able energy and sustainable design, it offers a pen, job training is vitally important in com-44 SEPTEMBER | 2010
41. pleting the cycle and assistsin providing the resources re-quired for making renewableenergy available.” “So much of the alternativeenergy discussion has takenplace at a global or strategiclevel,” says Coyne. “What hasbeen ignored are the thou-sands of technical jobs thatwill turn these ideas into re-ality. To me, the opportunitiesof ‘green’ in 2010 are similarto those that surrounded thespace program in 1969. Bothwere catalysts for a new gen-eration of entrepreneurs.”REFERENCES:1) Executive Office of the President-Council of Economic Advisers. The Economic Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Second Quarterly Report, January 13, 2010.2) United Nations, World ed Nations, New York; Energy Information Administration, Population Monitoring, Electricity, www.eia.doe.gov/fuelelectric.html.G. Stix, Sci- ST/ESA/SER.A/228, Unit- entific American. windsystemsmag.com 45
42. Tom  MooreReduced  accessWorking  momsSuccess  stories