MSNBC has an an article stating by 2030, nearly half-million new jobs could be created in green industries. In the article they have focused on energy generation jobs like wind turbines, solar.
The wind energy industry currently employs about 45,000 people in the U.S. and had $9 billion worth of investment last year, a 45 percent increase from 2006, Swisher said.
"Given that growth, we're already seeing constraints in terms of workers," he said.
Swisher estimates that by 2030, nearly a half-million new jobs could be created in the wind industry, in manufacturing, construction and operation.
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The solar industry, too, is growing. Last year set a record with 314 megawatts of new solar capacity installed in the U.S., said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. That's enough to power about 80,000 homes, he said.
The market was worth just about $200 million five years ago. Last year, it topped $2 billion, Resch said.
"These are jobs that are really the backbone of the economy, jobs like roofers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers," he said. "But the federal government is completely asleep at the switch here."
News.com has another article Taking the Web 2.0 route to Green Tech
Over the past five years, many IT professionals have made the jump to energy-related companies. Former Microsoftie Martin Tobias, for example, was CEO of biodiesel company Imperium Renewables, while the head of ethanol maker Range Fuels, Mitch Mandich, is a former Apple executive.
These IT veterans made the move either because there are more job opportunities, or because they want to work in an environmentally oriented field. Although they may lack technical know-how in energy, they contribute the speed and entrepreneurial culture of high-tech start-ups, the thinking goes.
By contrast, people like Brown feel that tapping social networking on the Web is the best way to build a business with an environmental slant.
"There's a lot of noise and a lot of great clean technologies are going to be created," Brown says. "The reason I wanted to go towards the Web is because, in the end, it's the individual consumer who will be driving those concepts and ideas."
MakeMeSustainable.com is sort of like Weight Watchers for carbon-conscious consumers. It allows people to evaluate their individual carbon footprint and track it over time while teaming with others.