What caught my eye, was a side discussion about how the wind-power industry has been faring.
The key here is not arguing what the potential of wind power, or other renewable sources, but what is actually happening. Note, even if you want to have the economic where withal in the right place and the right time to make that happen. We may be the greatest county in the world and all that, but we don't seem to be building many windmills.
U.S Faces Uphill Battle in Retraining the Jobless
Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, Wall Street Journal, 31 July 2012
Through one Recovery Act program, Congress allocated $500 million to states to train workers for jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"We put an emphasis on green energy in the Recovery Act," says the Labor Department's Ms. Oates. "We let people apply for what that meant in their areas—some wind, some solar, some energy efficiency, some natural gas"...
Greg Matlock, 39, who lost his job as manager of a wood pellet and gas stove manufacturer near Spokane, Wash., turned to wind energy, he says, because the government predicted a booming market. He attended a six-month program at a technical school, learning electrical skills, hydraulics, computer programming and federal safety regulations. In late 2010, he received a certificate in wind energy.
The wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs since 2009, according to the American Wind Energy Association, because of uncertainty over federal subsidies and other factors. Mr. Matlock says he was offered a wind job that paid less than his previous $55,000 salary, and it was in Colorado. He took a job closer to home earning more money, $80,000, as a manager of a plant that makes newsprint.
A federally funded green-energy training program aimed to land some 80,000 workers in such jobs. Through the end of March, 25,212 trainees had landed new jobs, including more than 14,500 unemployed people, the Labor Department says.
After Joseph Quiroz, 38, lost his job at a cement factory near San Bernardino, Calif., in 2010, he went to a job fair where he picked up a flier raving about the demand for "building analysts"—people who inspect homes and businesses for energy efficiency.
California in 2011 launched a program, with the help of federal funding, to subsidize energy-efficiency upgrades for homes. The state aimed to get homeowners to retrofit 130,000 homes by the end of 2012, which would require thousands of new contractors and building analysts.
Mr. Quiroz was put on a waiting list for several months before a spot opened up for a three-week course at a community college—paid for with federal funds. By the time he was certified last year, the market was glutted with nearly 3,000 analysts. Homeowners, meanwhile, are on track to retrofit less than 10,000 homes by the end of this year, state officials say, a fraction of the 130,000 originally expected.