By Donavee Chappell, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
March 23, 2011
We have been bombarded with the word "green" for a number of years and told this is where things are going. We have been urged to become aware of the concept and get involved in the "green economy." Okay then, what is "green," and what does that have to do with getting jobs and being involved in the "green economy"?
User Comments (3)
I certainly have problems when trying to place job seekers. My clients don't care if a job is green...they just want to work. I would prefer to just get them jobs that allowed a decent wage and health insurance but wait or try to get them to the "green" job.
Summary: if someone wants to be involved with the Green ENERGY industry - then they need to know something about system-controllers and about the specialized equipment that is part of this industry.
The difference between HVAC and Green ENERGY HVAC is that the Green Energy HVAC technician understands and can install/maintain the computerized system-controller. ... and there are a bunch of new system-controllers on the market.
The difference between a regular electrician and a Green ENERGY electrician is that the Green Energy electrician works with AC and DC power, knows how to tell if a solar panel or wind generator is "out", knows how to install/maintain this additional equipment, knows the local building codes that might affect the installation.
Here is what I have seen coming to the surface in the last 2-5 years for the established businesses, in these catagories:
** Smart Buildings
- the use of computerized monitoring and adjustment systems (monitor & adjust heat/cooling/ fresh air/ humidity/ time-of-day lighting / time-of-day security systems).
- the need for people who can install small computerized (IP networked or routed systems) and people, who can monitor the system and pull meaningful information from SQL databases
- introduction of new building materials
- reduction of on-site waste (when building new) and reduction of on-site toxins (once building is established)
- introduction of a wholistic building approach to cost & lifetime costs (think LEED certified - and all the people that are involved with building/retrofitting buildings)
** Smart Grid
- the use of computerized monitoring and adjustment systems (monitor where power is flowing / not-flowing / surging. adjust power flow. monitor substations in a new way. etc.)
- the need for people, who can understand computerized systems.
- the need for people, who can explain why there is not an unlimited supply of power, and that it is expensive to build new power plants and maintain them.
- lots of jobs surrounding Smart Grid (for those interested in the new-frontiers, they can look at Home Area Network, and what is required in that realm) (for those interested in the old-stuff, then can be involved with transmission line installation. -- just don't plan to have an accounting job, the automated billing is eliminating the need for a lot of people with that skill.
** Wind / Solar / Micro-Hydro Power
- the use of computerized monitoring and adjustment systems
(monitor panel/wind output, adjust panel direction, convert dc power to ac power)
- lots of grant money flowing into this area
- oil companies are pulling out oil-wells and putting in large wind-generators on the same property
Credentials: I'm been involved with the "green-energy" industry since the mid-1990's, and in some ways since the mid-1970's.
If someone tells you a carpenter is a "green-job" because (s)he works with wood, then they are probably stretching the definition to fit their own needs.
sorry about the long post - I didn't realize the systems doesn't keep formating in place.
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