Given that "Being Green Causes Happiness - Study"(1), then a green job is bound to make a person happy, right?

U.S. Conference of Mayors released today a report that predicts 4.2 million new green jobs in the next 30 years.(2) I thought to connect some dots here in the energy picture to shape a new workforce for a future green economy.

The Mayors' study first examined "the economic benefits of the Green Economy - that part of economic activity which is devoted to the reduction of fossil fuels, the increase of energy efficiency, and the curtailment of greenhouse gas emissions."

Hence, we can begin with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). They work on (i) diversifying U.S. energy supply, (ii) improving energy efficiency, (iii) addressing environmental and climate changes, and (iv) modernizing our energy infrastructure.(3)

American Physical Society (APS) has recently published their energy report.(4) Physicists' recommendations focused on DOE's second activity, which is about developing energy efficiency technologies and practices that will enable Americans to use energy more productively.

The Mayors' study, on the other hand, considered not just the second activity but all of them -- yet -- within the context of the Green Economy. They then identified macro-economic and micro-economic benefits that lead to job growth, income growth, and a cleaner environment.

Here is a list of Current Green Jobs, a total of 751,051 in 2006, in seven major categories:

Renewable Power Generation 127,246

Agriculture and Forestry 57,546

Construction&Systems Installation 8,741

Manufacturing 60,699

Equipment Dealers & Wholesalers 6,205

Engineering, Legal, Research & Consulting 418,715

Government Administration 71,900

Forecast activities were carried out for three interests: I. Renewable Power Generation, II. Residential and Commercial Retrofitting, and III. Renewable Transportation Fuels. Then three forecasts of direct jobs were performed under various scenarios. The indirect jobs in the support positions were obtained by projection and were combined finally to give the total results.

For example, the Renewable Share in Total Power Generation is given below in the next three decades:

2008 3%

2018 14%

2028 27%

2038 40%

Calculated Potential New Green Jobs in 2038 are listed under four major categories for a total, 4,214,700.

Renewable Power Generation 1,236,800

Residential & Commercial Retrofitting 81,000

Renewable Transportation Fuels 1,492,000

Engineering, Legal, Research & Consulting 1,404,900

The overall forecast was then distributed to metropolitan areas according to existing shares of Green Jobs. To illustrate further, top ten of them are provided below for Green Jobs in 2006 and (2038), respectively:

1 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (MSA): 25,021 (197,971)

2 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (MSA): 24,287 (192,165)

3 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX: 21,250 (168,136)

4 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA: 20,136 (159,321)

5 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (MSA): 19,799 (156,660)

6 Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL-IN-WI (MSA): 16,120 (127,545)

7 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (MSA): 14,379 (113,772)

8 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA: 13,848 (109,570)

9 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA: 11,663 (92,285)

10 Pittsburgh, PA: 9,627 (76,174)

Traditional industries will continue to be replaced by new opportunities in the coming decades. Along the way, we must remember to protect the health and safety of workers and the public.

I noticed that 'green' was used once in the seventeen recommendations made by the physicists. My message to the APS: You, too, can find happiness in the Green Economy.


(2) U.S. Metro Economies Green - Jobs in U.S. Metro Areas, report, The US Conference of Mayors, October 2008.