More than any other industry, the advanced energy industry seems to have found a way to advance all Three Ps of sustainability.
On the People side, the jobs are starting to come – and, last week, President Obama announced $2.3 billion in Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, which is aimed at creating 17,000 jobs. The administration estimates that private firms are investing an additional $5.4 billion, which will create 41,000 more jobs.
For the Planet, advanced energy is designed to be cleaner and more renewable than traditional fossil fuels. The move to renewable energy is being positioned globally as one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions. Many leaders, including President Obama, have embraced a goal of 20 percent of the nation’s power supply from renewable sources by 2020.
And the Profit potential seems to be real and growing. In the January 11, 2010 Akron Beacon-Journal, energy expert Richard Stuebi of the Cleveland Foundation says the wind industry is booming as a $40-billion-a-year industry that is growing at 30 percent a year. He says it’s the “fastest-growing industry on the planet … and everyone wants to be a part of it.” More than 500 companies in Ohio alone are part of the supply chain for wind turbines, which utilize approximately 2,000 parts. Traditional manufacturers are salivating about the possibilities, but the retraining of workers, re-engineering of factories and quality controls are no small hurdles.
Critics will say the advanced energy space is being propped up by tax credits and hyper-sensitivity to climate pressures. What happens if and when those subside? That will be the true test of the industry and its ability to balance the Three Ps.
For more on the subject, check out this article on CNNMoney.com.