What If All U.S. Coal Workers Were Retrained to Work in Solar?

AUGUST 08, 2016

HBR.org _The global economy is in a massive transition from a fossil-fuel-based energy system to one using sophisticated renewable energy technologies. For tens of thousands of fossil fuel workers, though, the energy industry outlook is not promising. For coal industry workers, the future looks particularly bleak. However, research I conducted with Edward Louie of Oregon State University offers hope for a better future based on retraining workers. Our study (published in the journal Energy Economics) quantified the costs and benefits of retraining coal workers for employment in the rapidly expanding solar photovoltaic industry—and it explores different ways to pay for this retraining. Tiếp tục đọc “What If All U.S. Coal Workers Were Retrained to Work in Solar?”

What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs

NYtimes_From the mountain hollows of Appalachia to the vast open plains of Wyoming, the coal industry long offered the promise of a six-figure income without a four-year college degree, transforming sleepy farm towns into thriving commercial centers.

But today, as King Coal is being dethroned — by cheap natural gas, declining demand for electricity, and even green energy — what’s a former miner to do?

Nowhere has that question had more urgency than in Wyoming and West Virginia, two very different states whose economies lean heavily on fuel extraction. With energy prices falling or stagnant, both have lost population and had middling economic growth in recent years. In national rankings of economic vitality, you can find them near the bottom of the pile. Tiếp tục đọc “What’s Up in Coal Country: Alternative-Energy Jobs”

Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World

Scientificamerican.org  
Germany's Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World
Credit: Krisztian Bocsi Getty Images

From Ensia (find the original story here), from an article commissioned by Courier; reprinted with permission.

August 1, 2017—Seventy-seven-year-old Heinz Spahn—whose blue eyes are both twinkling and stern—vividly recalls his younger days. The Zollverein coal mine, where he worked in the area of Essen, Germany, was so clogged with coal dust, he remembers, that people would stir up a black cloud whenever they moved. “It was no pony farm,” he says—using the sardonic German phrase to describe the harsh conditions: The roar of machines was at a constant 110 decibels, and the men were nicknamed waschbar, or “raccoons,” for the black smudges that permanently adorned their faces. Tiếp tục đọc “Germany’s Transition from Coal to Renewables Offers Lessons for the World”