People across the U.S. tell their own stories of how wind and solar have changed their lives and benefitted the diverse regions where they live. “After I lost my job, I had about three days of sulking, and then I got up and decided to listen to some of my co-workers’ advice to look into wind turbines,” he said in Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom, a new film (to be widely released this summer) from the Sierra Club about the energy revolution in America. He now works as a turbine engineer, and the wind industry is helping the state climb out of its deep recession. Bruce’s circumstances are not unusual: In the U.S., jobs in sectors that have traditionally boosted the economy are disappearing. Coal is environmentally damaging and expensive to mine. Car companies are looking at an eventual slow-down in sales. Across both sectors and many more, automation is putting people out of work. Renewable energy is poised to step up where these older sectors are falling behind. Wind and solar employ over 800,000 people across the country, and are some of the fastest-growing industries. As these resources scale, they’re becoming economically viable–solar is around 50% cheaper than coal–and wide-scale adoption of wind and solar could help curb America’s carbon emissions. And they’re adaptable across a range of communities: Reinventing Power traces the establishment of the country’s first offshore wind farm near the tiny Rhode Island community of Block Island and delves into community solar programs in Austin and wind power on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana and a farm in North Carolina, The film also follows the retraining of former coal miners and auto workers for jobs in renewables throughout the U.S.
Fast Company 5th June 2018 read more »