By Kim Robson:
With our new administration, many people are deeply concerned for the future of the EPA and recent gains made in renewable energy. However, there’s quite a bit of reason to hope for the best. According to a survey taken last November, 75% of Trump voters support increasing the development and use of clean energy in this country and around the world.
The survey was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, one of the nation’s top GOP polling firms, on behalf of the Conservative Energy Network, a group of conservatives whose mission is to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. They polled 1,000 voters across the country, immediately following the November elections.
The results were surprisingly promising: among Trump voters, 61% want to see advancements in solar power, 56% want to see more hydropower, and 52% want to see more natural gas and wind power. Who knew?
It’s heartening to note that among ALL voters polled, 86% strongly support more development of renewable energy policies. Among base GOP voters, 72% want more green energy development. Regarding Trump’s promise to save coal jobs, only 38% of his supporters did say they wanted to see more emphasis on coal. The question of nuclear power drew a collective “meh.”
One of President Trump’s key positions during his candidacy was keeping jobs and growing jobs in America. It turns out this is good for green energy because job growth in renewable energies is faster than in any other industry across the global energy sector.
According to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in their Renewable Energy and Jobs 2016 Annual Review, renewable energy industries now employ more than 8.1 million people worldwide, a 5% increase from 2015. The total number of renewable energy jobs worldwide rose in 2015, while jobs in the broader energy sector fell, the report said. For example, in the U.S., renewable energy jobs increased by 6% in 2015, while jobs in oil and gas decreased by 18%.
“The continued job growth in the renewable energy sector is significant because it stands in contrast to trends across the energy sector,” said Adnan Amin, IRENA’s director-general, in a statement. “This increase is being driven by declining renewable energy technology costs and enabling policy frameworks. We expect this trend to continue as the business case for renewables strengthens and as countries move to achieve their climate targets agreed in Paris.”
If the new administration holds to its promises, job growth in renewable energy should continue to increase at a healthy pace. It’s also a good sign that Britain’s conservative post-Brexit government is still investing heavily in clean energy. Hopefully, green energy advocates can use this data to persuade the federal government that fossil fuels can and should be slowly phased out, and to continue working toward decarbonization and the continued decline of coal and oil.