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Green Jobs

Green Jobs

In the current challenging economic climate it will be critical for advocates of tidal energy to articulate its connection to the economy, and the vast potential of renewable energy and tidal power in particular to act as an economic stimulator through green jobs and domestic innovation.  Investing in renewable energy development not only supports clean, decentralized power generation but also has the potential to empower our economy and communities.

The Resource is Right

Grid reliability is a major factor in assessing the economic viability of renewable energy. The resource for wind and solar energy is intermittent and difficult to predict to be used on a municipal-scale in the Northeast. Our ability to precisely calculate the tidal cycle is enormously desirable to energy suppliers, who have to guarantee to meet electricity demand. Additionally, most of our world’s population lives in coastal areas; therefore, tidal power will naturally be in close proximity to the electric grid and existing infrastructure. Furthermore, deriving energy from water is highly material efficient since water is 1,000 times as dense as air, ie. a 25 meter wind turbine produces roughly the same power as a 2.5 meter tidal turbine.

It is undeniable that tidal power is an emerging renewable energy technology with enormous promise and opportunity in the US and the world.  In order to put significant tidal power capacity into place, it will be necessary to hire thousands of new workers to manufacture, install and monitor turbines. Studies show that green industry supports more jobs per dollar invested than the dot-com industry.

The Northeast: World Leaders in Renewable Ocean Energy? 

During the 1970’s energy crisis, Denmark decided to invest heavily in the emerging wind industry.  Wind power has since created 20,000 new jobs and now provides 25% of Denmark’s total energy demand. Furthermore, the small country has stepped up as a global leader in the wind industry, exporting some half of all wind turbines used worldwide.  We are now faced with an opportunity in the Northeast region to adapt a similar model for the nascent tidal power industry, creating green jobs and generating clean, local and renewable energy.

As money from the economic stimulus package is distributed to various national infrastructure projects, the nation’s renewable energy capacity will be doubled within the next two years. This is a clear opportunity for tidal power and other technologies to receive federal support, if a credible argument can be made.  With this support, more money for tidal power could mean more economic opportunity for communities where tidal power is an energy option.  Much of the stimulus money for renewable energy is currently being spent of wind power, solar power, and other technologies, but it is clear that tidal power also has the potential to act as a lasting source for a diverse variety of jobs.

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