Today, as state and local governments seek to integrate environmental and energy policies with job creation, a first-of-its kind national study has found that only a few states and cities have policies in place to create green jobs.
Developed by a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor and a team of eight graduate students from several U.S. universities, the full report – Building Clean-Energy Industries and Green Jobs, was released on August 1.
“Today’s policy-makers are increasingly driven by a new question: how can environmental and energy policies be configured to create new businesses and generate green jobs with maximum impact and minimal expenditure?,” said David J. Hess, professor of science and technology studies at Rensselaer.
Hess’ research focuses on the social and policy studies of science, technology, health, and the environment, with an emphasis on the role of civil society and social movements. His interest in localism is prompted by his earlier research on the relationships between social movements and industrial innovation.
“There are many studies of state and local government energy policy that focus on policies that drive ‘demand’ for energy efficiency and renewable energy products,” Hess said. “This research report is different because it looks at the emerging suite of ‘supply’ policies needed to create the businesses that will provide green jobs.”
Hess received a $249,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support a 10-week graduate training seminar and additional research sponsored by the organization’s Science and Technology Studies Program. Eight graduate student assistants were recruited from around the country to participate in the seminar. Each student conducted interviews and field research to develop a detailed case study of a city and state. Based on a survey of 30 state governments and 25 cities, the study identifies 15 best practices and policies for each of the states and cities.
The study explores the full range of green jobs, from weatherization jobs to manufacturing to research, development, and business start-ups. It also focuses on policies that help to promote five clean-energy industries: bio-fuels, smart-grid and buildings technologies, solar, transportation and energy storage, and wind.The Results
“Many cities and states are claiming to become the ‘capital’ of green technology, but only a few really have strong, proactive policies in place to make that claim stick in order to create the highly paid green jobs,” Hess said. “During our research, we found that only some states and cities were able to bring together the research and innovation side with support for funding, technology transfer, business development, and green jobs training.”
“Every state and city is different. They all have their unique industry strengths, socioeconomic concerns, and geographical constraints. But some have done better at addressing their needs than others,” said Jaime D. Ewalt, a researcher on the team and Ph.D. candidate in the chemistry and environmental science department at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“Already we are seeing that some states and cities have moved ahead to become leaders in the new industries,” Hess said. “Our findings suggest that if policymakers are serious about getting and keeping the upper-end green jobs in manufacturing and innovation, they need to be serious about the suite of policies that need to be in place.”
“We have some of the best students of the next generation of environmental studies and policy that have worked with me to develop this study,” Hess added. “Our research provides successful examples of existing initiatives that may offer other state and city governments with potential ideas that they may consider when implementing their strategies in order to connect energy policies with job creation and business development.”
In addition to Ewalt, the graduate students involved in project are: David A. Banks, Joseph Datko, and Logan D.A. Williams from the science and technology studies department at Rensselaer; Bob Darrow from the science and technology studies department at Virginia Tech; Rebecca Gresh from the sociology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Matthew Hoffman from the sociology department at Loyola University; and Anthony M. Sarkis from the environmental studies department at Antioch University New England.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, Hess and several of the students will be presenting their findings to state and city governments and at advocacy organizations. They have already delivered presentations in New York and Pennsylvania with additional presentations planned for New Jersey, Ohio, and Vermont.Connecting the Dots: Research Intersections
Hess is working on the third volume. The book examines state and local government policies that are encouraging the development of clean tech and green businesses. Preliminary finding suggest that the growing clean-tech sector promises to provide a third counterweight in favor of more rapid policy transitions to a greener economy.
In 2007, Hess published the first volume, Alternative Pathways in Science and Industry (MIT Press). One of the central arguments of the book is that social movements play a generative role in scientific and technological change, rather than merely a role of opposing some new forms of technology or demanding access to others. He also explored the limitations of social movements and the tendency for the movements for sustainability and/or justice in the United States to achieve partial victories.
In 2009, he published the second volume, Localist Movements in a Global Economy: Sustainability, Justice, and Urban Development in the United States (MIT Press). The book examines the social and environmental aspects of the “localist movement” of advocacy for increased local ownership, such as in “buy local” campaigns. The book also examines the potential of the green small business sector as an additional counterweight to the political power of the anti-environmental industries. The first two volumes were completed with support from the Science and Technology Studies (STS) Program of the National Science Foundation.Contact
Jessica Otitigbe | Newswise Science News
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences