The rise of renewable is no news; but the transition is not so clear for many actors in the sector, both enthusiasts and those impacted by the shift. Harvard Business Review has recently been looking deeper into the question of financing the transition to renewable energy from two different perspectives: coal workers and industrial firms.
Young coal workers, in particular, should consider retraining for a job in solar now. In fact, Research from Oregon State University suggests most coal workers should start thinking about retraining now.
The study quantified the costs and benefits of retraining such workers in solar technology and explores different alternatives to finance the shift. It identifies four different ways of financing such a shift from individual funding options, company sponsored retraining, state driven programmes and federal government initiatives.
It concludes that in general after retraining, most technical workers would make more in the solar industry than previously in coal because there is a wide variety of employment opportunities in the solar industry, and that the annual pay is attractive at all levels of education, with even the lowest skilled jobs paying a living wage.
Big companies have been buying a lot of clean energy; but making it work in terms of costs and accounting can be a hurdle for industrial companies. HBR draws lessons from Owens Corning execs and how they laid out the strategy to get over the hurdles that industrial companies face when investing in renewable energy in order to add value to the company, and the environment.