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The New Green Energy Economy and Workforce Development. Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon California Public Utilities Commission August 7, 2008. Commissioner Timothy Simon’s Leadership in Green Energy Economy Workforce Development. The New Green Energy Economy Summit

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the new green energy economy and workforce development

The New Green Energy Economyand Workforce Development

Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon

California Public Utilities Commission

August 7, 2008

commissioner timothy simon s leadership in green energy economy workforce development
Commissioner Timothy Simon’s Leadership in Green Energy Economy Workforce Development

The New Green Energy Economy Summit

  • Over 800 participants in San Francisco, including elected officials, investors, renewable developers, workforce strategists, educators, faith and community based organizations.
  • The California Workforce Advisory Board proposal was spawned out of this New Green Energy Economy Summit.
  • Sponsors included the Willie Brown, Jr. Institute, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and the Apollo Alliance
  • Subsequent Summits will be held in New Orleans in November 2008 and in Long Beach in February 2009.
california energy sector workforce needs
California Energy Sector Workforce Needs
  • Expanding workforce investment needs are being driven by the following:
    • Significant utility workforce retirement on the horizon: an estimated 43% will be retirement-eligible over the next five years
    • New and increasing energy resource supply needs
    • Transmission and reliability needs to meet load growth projections
    • Climate Change and Assembly Bill (AB) 32 Implementation
    • The California Energy Action Plan
the energy action plan
The Energy Action Plan
  • The first Energy Action Plan (EAP) was adopted in 2003 by the CPUC, the CEC, and the California Power Authority in order to implement a more unified plan for meeting California’s energy needs.
  • The EAP II emerged in 2005, which updated the original plan to reflect Climate Change concerns and other policy developments. The EAP was again updated in 2008 to incorporate AB 32 goals.
  • Loading Order: The EAP established a clear set of program priorities as a guideline for energy resource procurement:
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Demand Response
    • Renewables
    • Electricity adequacy, reliability, and infrastructure
    • Electricity market structure
    • Natural gas supply
  • Workforce investment and development is required to help fulfill these priorities and policy goals.
energy efficiency goals and green collar jobs
Energy Efficiency Goals and Green Collar Jobs
  • The top priority resource of the CPUC is Energy Efficiency, the least expensive and most reliable resource for meeting procurement needs and helping to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.
  • “Big Bold” Energy Efficiency Strategies: Though it has yet to be fully vetted and adopted, the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan (CEESP) provides a roadmap for achieving long term EE strategies. These include a “zero net energy” plan for all new residential construction by 2020, and for all new commercial construction by 2030.
  • WE&T: The CEESP also contemplates a Workforce Education and Training plan for the education sector, including a WE&T Task Force to develop and train people for technical and construction related careers. This proposal will likely be refined.
the renewable portfolio standard rps and workforce needs
The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Workforce Needs
  • RPS Goals: To achieve 20% renewable supply by 2010. The feasibility of a 33% RPS is being evaluated.
  • Emerging Renewable Resource Program (ERRP): This program, if adopted by the Commission, will facilitate renewable generation deployment.
  • Wind, solar, biomass, biogas, geothermal, and other renewable projects are being implemented and more are on the horizon.
  • As more eligible renewable resource projects are approved to meet RPS targets,additional workforce will be critical for construction, operation, and maintenance.
current and future projects and potential green collar job growth
Current and Future Projects and Potential Green Collar Job Growth
  • Pending before the CPUC:
    • Ruby Pipeline Application
    • Advanced Metering Infrastructure
    • Sunrise Powerlink
    • Tehachapi Wind Farm
    • California Institute for Climate Solutions (CICS)
  • Future possibilities to be explored:
    • SmartGrid
    • Other transmission projects
the ripple effect of economic growth and job needs
The Ripple Effect of Economic Growth and Job Needs
  • As we increase renewable resources in California, the demand for the components that comprise renewable generation will increase, resulting in more green collar manufacturing jobs along the supply chain.
  • California has a strong manufacturing base for most industries relevant to the production of renewable energy components.[1] The proliferation of renewable generation supply chain jobs will therefore increase not only as a result of new in-state renewable projects, but also for projects around the country.
  • According to the 2006 REPP Report, California then stood to gain approximately 95,600 new jobs and $20.9 billion dollars of investment in manufacturing components to supply this national development of renewable projects.[2]

[1]Sterzinger, George and Jerry Stevens, the Renewable Energy Policy Project. “Renewable Energy Demand: A Case Study of California,” (REPP California Report), at 4.

[2]Id. at 5.


Potential Jobs in California in Renewable Generation Component Manufacturing Source: “Component Manufacturing: California’s Future in the Renewable Energy Industry”, Renewable Energy Policy Project

top 10 california counties investment and job estimates in renewable energy component manufacturing
Top 10 California Counties Investment and Job Estimates in Renewable Energy Component Manufacturing
concluding remarks
Concluding Remarks
  • California is heading in the right direction in its policy endeavors under the guidance of the Energy Action Plan, and has all of the pieces in place to usher in a sustainable and unified workforce development program.
  • California should take a leadership role in cultivating a diverse and skilled workforce in the utility sector by adopting a program that can be emulated in other states across the nation. Continued development of the California Workforce Advisory Board or a similar Public Purpose Program would be beneficial to all stakeholders and the economy at large.
  • Workforce development in the new green economy must be brought to the forefront if we are to bring green collar job opportunities to underserved communities that are most in need of economic stimulus.


Commissioner Timothy Simon

California Public Utilities Commission

505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 5213

San Francisco, CA  94102

Telephone: 415-703-1407