Green Jobs Not So Bright

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

One of the few bright spots in this souring economy has been the renewable energy industry. But with the economy suffering, even many "green" jobs are at risk these days.

The problem is the same in renewable energy as it is everywhere else: capital. California, requires the state to get 20 percent of its power through renewable energy by 2010 and to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. But even in the "golden state" some solar companies are having trouble getting new projects in the pipeline.

The Topaz Solar farm near San Luis Obispo is a project of Optisolar. When it powers up 2011, it will be one of the world's largest solar energy plants. But Optisolar laid off nearly half its 600 employees in January.

Still the future looks good for solar. The industry posted double digit growth the last several years, and the new administration is committed to green jobs industry. The stimulus package provides more than 30 billion dollars for the renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.


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