The clean energy sector can make the United States competitive in global markets. By advancing domestic production methods, the United States can reduce its dependence on foreign markets for clean technologies. Domestic products of the clean energy sector, such as environmentally benign information technology and renewable fuels, can make the United States a global leader in sustainable economic development. Demand for clean energy, such as hydroelectricity and solar power correlates with demand for a clean energy workforce trained in developing, producing, and advancing clean energy products and services.
When the United States workforce can innovate cost-competitive technologies that are cleaner, safer, healthier, and more durable, it can stir growth in the national job market. Sustainable buildings that use less energy can improve energy independence by reducing national energy consumption. Commercial and industrial facilities can implement solutions to their costly energy consumption problems with the help of sustainable building professionals. Government incentives for commercial facilities can generate demand for commercial energy auditors who are trained in sustainable building performance standards.
Institutions that confer national standards can set guidelines and goals for energy independence and energy efficiency. Take the American National Standards Institute, for example, which recently accredited the Building Performance Institute’s standardization methodologies for building energy efficiency. This accreditation lends BPI more authority and attests to the precision of BPI standards. BPI certification is now more costly to obtain and more strictly monitored with videotaped exams for aspiring building analysts. Together with ANSI, the BPI is raising the bar for members of the sustainable building industry.
Clean energy technologies, such as solar PV cells and wind turbines, pose excellent opportunities for the United States to assert its energy independence. When the national economy supports development in the clean energy field, demand for certified professionals increases along with the value of courses in LEED certification, BPI certification, and lead renovator certification.
The clean energy sector can help rebuild the American workforce. Over time, clean energy technologies can become less expensive and easier to make and export, creating new markets and providing energy solutions for emerging markets around the world.