skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Green Jobs Are New Sunrise Industry


Aired 1/20/11

San Diego leads the state in green jobs for which local colleges now offer training.

— California's green economy is thriving. Green jobs have grown faster than any other type of job in California. In San Diego, they have grown at twice the pace of the rest of the state.

An algae harvest wheel, used in the process of turning algae into fuel.
Enlarge this image

Above: An algae harvest wheel, used in the process of turning algae into fuel.

A report published today says green jobs grew at a rate of 3 percent in the state and 6 percent in San Diego, compared to one percent growth for other jobs.

Doug Henton, an analyst with Collaborative Economics prepared the report for Next 10, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization based in San Francisco. He attributed San Diego's lead in this sector to its leadership in the area of biofuels and clean-water technology.

So where are the green jobs? They are in energy generation, with rooftop solar and wind farm projects. They are in energy efficiency, with retrofits of buildings creating jobs for workers. They are also in alternative transportation and fuel.

Henton said clean technology will drive economic growth in the coming years.

"It's an industry that will transform other industries. So when you look down the line, people will be using these technologies in buildings, in transportation and in energy generation. It's already happening. So this is the future. We're at the cutting edge of this and California is the leader."

CleanTECH San Diego, the industry association, now has 800 members. Vice president Jason Anderson said the sector currently employs 120,000 people in the county and that green growth is not overstated.

"Are we expecting too much? Maybe. But I think that's good. I think we need to have high expectations to drive this industry. And the more the consumers are pushing for these types of jobs and these types of applications, that's what's going to create more jobs and more companies," Anderson said.

San Diego has emerged as a hub for algal biofuel research. There are several local firms competing in the race to commercialize algae into biofuel, including Sapphire Energy, General Atomics, Synthetic Genomics and Kent Bioenergy.

Stephen Mayfield, a pioneer in algal research, is with the University of California, San Diego. He is also the director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology.

He said a green career is an excellent choice for anyone, including older adults thinking of retraining for a new career.

"We call them early adaptors. It's the guys who get in early, who have the best opportunities for growth in this field. I've been working for 20 years on algae and what I've seen over the past three years tells me, the advice I give to my own sons who are in college now, get into the green sector because these are the jobs that are going to be here for the next 20 years," Mayfield said.

San Diego's cleantech industry has launched a new program called EDGE, to train workers in emerging green areas like algae. EDGE stands for educating and developing workers for the green economy. The training is now offered at UCSD and will soon be offered at San Diego State University and Mira Costa College.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.


Avatar for user 'hydro1'

hydro1 | January 20, 2011 at 7:49 a.m. ― 6 years, 2 months ago

You are misguided. The large part of the green jobs are going to China. The Chinese leader is in Washington, DC and everyone is falling all over themselves kissing his shoes while he's totally ignoring everything and is on a single mission - destroy the U.S. economy so they can take over the as the world power economically and militarily. We are fools! Read the following:

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Frank_N_Blunt'

Frank_N_Blunt | May 16, 2011 at 10:43 a.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

The industries should fit in with the regions resources, technological support, distribution, & the customer base.
The inordinate use of water by such a scheme as biofuels doesn't fit with this region's arid climate.
Windfarms as well as PV manufacturing are situated in Mexico yet the power and panels will try to be sold back or distributed elsewhere.
Growth doesn't necessarily mean profitable, self-sustaining, or privately supported, since most are on the government dole which entails the debt burden being transferred onto the back of other citizens.
As well, how many are deemed non-profit or able to evade contributing to public revenue?
Financiers and speculators are supported by the Treasury printing press they have heisted but look to exploit other nations; private industry is on the government dole. The perps & pseudo-patriots won't risk their ill-gotten horde.
The ROI has yet to happen and likely won't unless the incompetence and corruption in government are resolved. Well, the entire ScAmerican system is dysfunctional and won't be resolved unless a revolutionary approach is taken to adjust access, attitudes, & values. Unless the problems are resolved, then ability will go the way of prestige as the crimes & dysfunction further cause ScAmerica to implode. Terrible that the citizens have allowed such people to literally give away their nation, the citizens livelihoods, and sold out the future.

( | suggest removal )