President Barack Obama has championed renewable energy sources, which have generated jobs, but have fallen short of their goals. That’s according to Bloomberg.
In addition, so far under Obama, bankruptcies at government-supported companies, including solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, have generated criticism, Bloomberg says.
The clean technology industry employed 184,699 people in the U.S. in 2010, according to a 2011 Brookings report.
Current policy uncertainty could jeopardize both the jobs and growth potential of the industry.
Federal spending to support green energy has dropped 75 percent since 2009 due to concerns that it’s wasteful. In addition, Congress’ failure to extend the production tax credit has contributed to job cutbacks across the country, The Washington Post says. The wind industry employs 75,000 people – including 30,000 in manufacturing – according to the American Wind Energy Association.
The credit stalled in Congress over the summer. The last chance to extend it will be in December. And, all this time, companies are closing offices and laying off workers. That includes Danish company Vestas.
In the past few months, wind manufacturers and developers — including Kaydon Corp., LM Wind Power and Katana Summit – have also been cutting back, the Post reports.
In addition to job losses in the wind industry, a U.S. unit of Munich- based Siemens AG cut 615 jobs in September, part of an industry reduction of about 2,000 jobs since July, Bloomberg says.
State policies present another challenge for green jobs. Some critics say that clean-energy industries in the U.S. should be able to compete without government support and that credits and incentives are not feasible considering the country’s budget challenges.
To view the full Bloomberg article referenced in this article, click here
To view the full Washington Post article referenced in this article, click here