Wind energy beats iPod in U.S. job creation
Google gives wind energy a boost, but tax credit expiration could deliver a major wind industry setback
Computerworld - You remember the iPod. The iPod created jobs, but a majority of those jobs were overseas. Electronics manufacturing jobs are mostly overseas, which helps to keep one million workers at China's Foxconn plants busy.
In contrast, the majority of wind energy jobs are in the U.S., say researchers in a study by the Personal Computing Industry Center (PCIC), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Center.
In the study, the PCIC researchers applied a methodology similar to what they used to measure the job impact of the iPod. A working paper by PCIC found that the wind industry creates a larger share of total employment in the U.S. than the iPod did in 2006, 74% versus 34%.
But as many as half of the wind energy jobs may disappear if a tax credit is allowed to expire at year-end, say the PCIC paper and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
It has become an election issue. President Barack Obama has favored extending the credit, and Republican nominee Mitt Romney is opposing its extension. The tax credit costs about $1 billion a year.
The wind industry is already seeing layoffs in expectation that Congress will fail to renew the credit. That is happening even as Google, for instance, announced today its plans to buy 48 MW of wind power to help supply its data center in Mayes County, Okla.
The PCIC researchers found that the U.S. wind industry has created nearly 27,000 direct jobs, and 9,250 non-U.S. jobs.
By contrast, the iPod, the PCIC researchers found, created nearly 14,000 U.S. jobs and 27,250 non-U.S. jobs in 2006.
High-tech manufacturing employment has declined by 28% since 2000, or about 687,000 jobs, the National Science Foundation said in a report this year.
This wind energy job count number for the U.S. may grow to as much as 30,000 to 35,000 as research continues, said Jason Dedrick, an associate professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, and one of the people on the project. The other authors are Kenneth L. Kraemer, a research professor at the University of California, Irvine, and Greg Linden, a research associate at the University of California, Berkeley.
There are differing estimates on the wind industry's impact on job creation.
The American Wind Energy Association has put the number of wind jobs at 75,000. Its methodology is based on its database of nearly 500 facilities in all aspects of manufacturing. They estimate at least 30,000 jobs in manufacturing alone.
The balance of jobs in AWEA's estimate is made up of people who develop wind projects, maintain and run them. It includes anyone involved with the project, including wind financing specialist at banks, and people who prepare environmental studies, said Elizabeth Salerno, AWEA's Director of Industry Data & Analysis.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Shifting Gears: The Value of Customer-Driven Quality in Manufacturing In today's competitive manufacturing market, the customer must be the center of the quality universe. This paper details how manufacturers can improve customer...
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- Unlocking the Promise of Demand Sensing and Shaping through Big Data Analytics Many organizations have limited insight into big data. These limitations have significant opportunity costs and can have a negative effect on identifying and...
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts