Blog Archives

Next Exit: 7 Green Jobs to choose from

are you looking for a job..?  – There you have it — 7 jobs that should survive and thrive in this economic slump.

Wind-turbine factory worker

While factory workers building cars are losing sleep these days, those lucky enough to be on a wind-turbine line are getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night. Wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in America and all those turbines need to be built by someone. Modern turbines are highly engineered machines and require hundreds of hands to get from blueprints to installation. With wind power showing no signs of slowing down, building wind turbines is a great (and secure) way to pay the mortgage.

wind turbine factory workmen

Energy auditor

Energy auditors are on the front lines in the war against inefficiency. They’re responsible for evaluating the efficiency of heating and cooling systems as well as the insulation and weatherproofing of homes and businesses. They look for air leaks, missing or incomplete insulation, and make suggestions about the steps necessary to fix problems. Energy auditors often follow up by doing the actual weatherization work, fixing the problems they find in the audit. It’s a life of crawling around basements, caulking gaps between windows and running full-home air-leak tests.

energy auditor

Wind-turbine mechanic
Once a wind turbine is built in the factory and erected in a wind farm, someone needs to keep it tuned. Turbines are basically giant motors that come complete with all the complexities of a typical modern car. You bring your car to an auto mechanic; wind mechanics have to bring themselves to the turbine. Keeping the turbines tuned and in good operating condition makes good business sense for the wind farm owners (inefficiency bleeds dollars), so it’s not hard to see how being a wind-turbine mechanic is a great way to keep working until retirement.
Wind-turbine mechanic
Solar-panel installer

Solar-panel installers spend a lot of time on roofs. They’re part carpenter, part electrician. They roll up to a jobsite for the few days it takes to properly install a solar system and angle and position the panels in the right place, connecting them into the building’s power lines. It’s hands-on work that’s good for anyone wanting a tan on the back of his or her neck. There’s been a lot of talk of upgrading our nation’s energy grid and generation system. It’s a good bet that solar installers will be one of the more stable jobs as we climb out of this economic hole.

Solar-panel installer

Green builder
It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that the housing market is in the crapper. After its bubble burst, countless construction workers and home builders suddenly found themselves without work. When no one’s buying homes, no one’s building them, either. That is, unless you’re green. Environmentally hip builders have been able to keep their job sheets filled and their employees on the books. Some of this admittedly is because there are so few qualified green builders relative to the overall industry, but the fact remains that demand for efficient buildings is going nowhere but up.
Green builder
Fuel cell engineer

Hydrogen fuel cells are thought by many experts to be the way we’ll power the cars of tomorrow. They’re an efficient way of storing energy and are clean to boot — the only emissions they produce are water. If tomorrow’s cars will be powered by fuel cells, we’re going to need a lot of engineers today to help us get there. If the past decade has been the domain of the financial engineer, the next 10 years will be the era of the green engineer. Graduates of engineering schools who come out with focuses in fuel-cell technology will find themselves recruited and swooped up by companies like first-round picks in the NBA draft.

Fuel cell engineer

Green blogger
OK, so maybe this is just hopeful thinking on the part of the author, but the world needs more smart, green bloggers. Saving the environment is a subject fraught with complex ideas, personalities and ever-advancing science, and it takes a hip writer to sort it all out and frame it in a way that your average reader can grasp. Not that you should go out and try to be a green blogger. We don’t need the competition. 😀
Green blogger

Know it – Wind Power Energy

Wind Power

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electrical power,windmills for mechanical power, wind pumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships. Large wind farms consist of hundreds of individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. Offshore farms have less visual impact, but construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind farms provide electricity to isolated locations.

Wind Farms

A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electricity. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines distributed over an extended area, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm may also be located offshore.

Almost all large wind turbines have the same design — a horizontal axis wind turbine having an upwind rotor with three blades, attached to a nacelle on top of a tall tubular tower. In a wind farm, individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage (often 34.5 kV), power collection system and communications network. At a substation, this medium-voltage electric current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage electric power transmission system.

Onshore windfarm

Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in large bodies of water to generate electricity. These installations can utilise the more frequent and powerful winds that are available in these locations and have less aesthetic impact on the landscape than land based projects. However, the construction and the maintenance costs are considerably higher.

Offshorewindpark Burbo Bank

Energy Storage

In general, hydroelectricity complements wind power very well. When the wind is blowing strongly, nearby hydroelectric plants can temporarily hold back their water, and when the wind drops they can rapidly increase production again giving a very even power supply. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity or other forms of grid energy storage can store energy developed by high-wind periods and release it when needed.The type of storage needed depends on the wind penetration level – low penetration requires daily storage, and high penetration requires both short and long term storage – as long as a month or more. Stored energy increases the economic value of wind energy since it can be shifted to displace higher cost generation during peak demand periods. The potential revenue from this arbitrage can offset the cost and losses of storage; the cost of storage may add 25% to the cost of any wind energy stored but it is not envisaged that this would apply to a large proportion of wind energy generated.

Enviromental Effect – Green Effect

Compared to the environmental impact of traditional energy sources, the environmental impact of wind power is relatively minor in terms of pollution. Wind power consumes no fuel, and emits no air pollution, unlike fossil fuel power sources. The energy consumed to manufacture and transport the materials used to build a wind power plant is equal to the new energy produced by the plant within a few months. While a wind farm may cover a large area of land, many land uses such as agriculture are compatible, with only small areas of turbine foundations and infrastructure made unavailable for use.

Top 10 Countries with Windpower Capacity

(India Stands 5th contributing to 6.5% of world total)

Country 2012
capacity (MW)
Windpower total capacity
(MW)
 % world total
China 12,960 75,324 26.7
United States 13,124 60,007 21.2
Germany 2,145 31,308 11.1
Spain 1,122 22,796 8.1
India 2,336 18,421 6.5
UK 1,897 8,845 3.0
Italy 1,273 8,144 2.9
France 757 7,564 2.7
Canada 935 6,200 2.2
Portugal 145 4,525 1.6
(rest of world) 6,737 39,853 14.1
World total 44,799 MW 282,587 MW 100%