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EGEB: US energy efficiency jobs grow 3.4% in 2018, Pittsburgh airport to become energy self-sufficient by 2021

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • US energy efficiency jobs grow 3.4% in 2018, and New Mexico leads percentage-wise at 11.5%.
  • Pittsburgh airport will power itself with its own microgrid by 2021.
  • Supreme Court green-lights Baltimore’s Big Oil lawsuit.
  • Senator Angus King of Maine calls for low-cost financing for home energy efficiency.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

US energy-efficiency job growth

A report called “Energy Efficiency Jobs in America” by nonprofit E4TheFuture states that energy efficiency is the fastest-growing jobs sector in the energy industry in the US, “accounting for about half (76,000) of the entire energy industry’s new jobs (151,700) in 2018.” There was 3.4% growth in 2018.

Further, energy efficiency employs twice as many workers in the US as the entire fossil-fuel industry.

The top 5 states for growth in 2018 based on percentage are:

  • New Mexico: 11.5%
  • Nevada: 8.1%
  • Oklahoma: 7.2%
  • Colorado: 7.2%
  • New Jersey: 7.1%

But when you look at actual numbers of energy efficiency jobs in 2018, the states rank as follows, and interestingly, in reverse order:

  • New Jersey: 36,206
  • Colorado: 34,342
  • Oklahoma: 14,372
  • Nevada: 11,155
  • New Mexico: 5,636

Electrek reported in March that New Mexico set a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045. And on October 8, US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt criticized the Green New Deal at the annual meeting of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association in Santa Fe, saying that its “policies threaten their livelihoods and economic progress.”

Pittsburgh airport will be power self-sufficient

Pittsburgh International Airport will be the first US airport to source its power from its own microgrid by 2021.

It will get its self-sufficient power from solar- and natural gas-powered generators. The site includes the Hyatt Hotel, the airfield, and Sunoco.

Airport Technology reports:

The power will be partly generated from around 7,800 solar panels in eight acres of land and onsite natural gas wells.

It is capable of producing around 20 MW of electricity, with the airport consuming 14 MW during peak demand.

(I would be more excited about this if natural gas wasn’t involved, but 7,800 solar panels is great.)

Electrek reported on October 7:

Dominion Energy and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are going to jointly explore a large-scale 100-megawatt solar energy project at Washington Dulles International Airport.

More than 200 members of ACI Europe, the trade association for European airports, have committed to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Baltimore goes after Big Oil

Baltimore joins other cities and states in lawsuits that claim the companies are responsible for the climate crisis, and that they have misled investors. (ExxonMobil headed to federal court in Manhattan yesterday.) The Maryland city says Big Oil has put the city at risk due to rising sea levels.

The Hill reports:

The city of Baltimore’s lawsuit against a group of 26 major oil companies over their role in climate change will proceed after the Supreme Court rejected the energy giants’ request for a stay [yesterday].
The oil companies had asked for the Supreme Court to intervene after a federal judge ruled that Baltimore’s lawsuit could proceed in state court. The companies had sought to move the litigation to federal court in order to avoid potentially expensive litigation.
The group of companies includes BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell.

Affordable financing for heating efficiency

Senator Angus King (I-ME) and other members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee say more people would buy heat pumps and efficient heating systems if they could be financed easily and affordably.

Maine Public points out that “distribution costs are running higher than the cost of generating power” in the state. This is why King says that every kilowatt-hour of electricity not used reduces the demand on the distribution system.

Daniel Bresette, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, said in an exchange with King:

Monthly payments is a huge thing. That’s how people, individuals tend to think about what they can afford.

King prioritizes green energy issues. In September, Electrek wrote:

In July, US senators Angus King (I-ME) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced the Joint Long-Term Storage Act of 2019, “bipartisan legislation seeking to improve long-duration energy storage technology through strategic collaboration between federal agencies.” The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense DOD) would work jointly.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy passed the bill.

Photo credit: Andre Boysen/Unsplash

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.