green jobs

Tom Ryan / via Flickr

Federally subsidized energy projects have struggled recently.

First solar power firm Solyndra shut down, putting the Department of Energy on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. Then Beacon power - another company that had benefited from the same program - filed for bankruptcy.

But Carol Murphy, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, says the local green energy sector has taken these high-profile failures in stride.  

"If you look nationally it's not just green energy companies," she argues. "People have been jumping on these stories now, but for any startup company there's a high rate of failure."

U.S. Army Environmental Command / via Flickr

Approximately 2.7 million workers are part of America’s "clean economy," according to a new report out today from the Brookings Institution.

So what exactly does that mean? And how does New York measure up?

Sara Miller / via Flickr

Early results from a New York State Department of Labor study on the state's green workforce show most of New York's green laborers aren't solar panel installers or wind turbine technicians.

"We were expecting a lot more of these new jobs, or newfangled jobs," says Kevin Hannell, who headed the Department of Labor's study.

The study found just 1,400 photovoltaic installers in the state. The total number of green workers statewide added up to 180,000.

Squid Ink / via Flickr

A new report out from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) declares the compact between nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states to cap and then trade their carbon emissions a resounding success.

To review, here's how RGGI (pronounced affectionately by those in the know as "Reggie") works.  Power companies agree to caps on how much pollution they can make.  And to emit that pollution, they have to buy the right, by bidding on "carbon credits" (sold by the ton), at auctions.  Companies don't want to pony up the cash, so they're incentivized to cut their emissions.  The cash from the auctions gets used on green projects that reduce carbon, and total atmospheric carbon drops.  Theoretically.

Zack Seward / WXXI

It may have taken longer than expected, but Greater Rochester International Airport is finally showing off its rooftop solar panels.

"Starting today, the airport has gone green," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks at Thursday's airport press conference.

Airport officials say the 50,000-square-foot solar array will provide about 10 percent of the airport's electricity.

As for plans to also put wind turbines on the roof: don't expect to see those spinning any time soon.