Green Economy Research

Report CoverEnvironmental and Economic Benefits of Building Solar in California: Quality Careers—Cleaner Lives PDF
Peter Philips, November 2014

Policy and legislative action at both the federal and state levels has stimulated California's recent renewable-energy electricity-generation boom. This report examines the current and potential emissions averted by newly-constructed utility-scale solar farms in California. It calculates the new construction, maintenance and operations jobs created by these recent projects along with the upstream and downstream jobs stimulated by this construction. The report estimates the income, health-insurance and pension benefits of this new utility-scale solar farm construction and subsequent plant operation and maintenance jobs, calculates the training investments made as a result of these projects, estimates the impact of training on lifetime earnings of new workers, and presents case studies of four new apprentice workers employed on these projects. Finally, the report looks at the federal, state, and industry policies that made this solar boom possible and recommends four key policy actions to continue building on California’s leadership in creating high-quality jobs while decarbonizing the energy sector.



Report CoverWorkforce Issues and Energy Efficiency Programs: A Plan for California's Utilities
Carol Zabin, Jessica Halpern-Finnerty , Megan Emiko Scott, Betony Jones, Robin Walther, Cecilia Estolano, Alex Paxton, Cynthia Guzman, Linda Collins, Anjana Richards, and Peter Simon, May 2014

California has charted an ambitious course for building a clean energy economy, with energy efficiency as a key strategy. The investor-owned utilities (directed by the California Public Utilities Commission) administer the great majority of California's energy efficiency (EE) programs, investing over a billion dollars of ratepayer funds annually in incentives and other programs designed to encourage widespread adoption of energy saving measures.  In May 2014, the UC Berkeley Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy released Workforce Issues and Energy Efficiency Programs: A Plan for California's Utilities, which offers a detailed action plan for the investor-owned utilities (IOUs) and the California Public Utilities Commission for developing and engaging a qualified workforce with the capacity to achieve the state's energy efficiency targets. The Plan represents a significant departure from the IOUs' current practices, which do not systematically address workforce issues. It recommends the IOUs incorporate contractor and workforce standards as program requirements for their EE programs, and suggests a process for prioritizing the IOUs' investments in skills building to align with the state's key training institutions. It also proposes that the IOUs establish a dedicated workforce inclusion program for the explicit purpose of expanding access to living wage jobs and rewarding career pathways in EE work for disadvantaged Californians.



California Workforce Education and Training Needs Assessment for Energy Efficiency, Distributed Generation, and Demand Response
Carol Zabin, Karen Chapple, Ellen Avis and Jessica Halpern-Finnerty, March, 2011

The National Center for a Clean Energy Workforce: A Scoping Study PDF
Carol Zabin, Chris Benner, and Chris Tilly, June 22, 2010

Addressing the Employment Impacts of AB32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act PDF
Carol Zabin and Andrea Buffa, February 2009

Climate Action, Energy Efficiency, and Job Creation in California PDF
David Roland-Holst, September 2008

California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: A Background Paper for Labor Unions PDF
Andrea Buffa, Carol Zabin, Cheryl Brown, and David Graham-Squire at the Center for Labor Research and Education, UC Berkeley, with assistance of Tim Rainey, Peter Cooper, and Martha Bader of the Workforce and Economic Development Program, California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
August 2008

Macroeconomic Impacts for the State Alternative-Fuels Plan PDF
Peter Berck, November 2007