The Global View

What do you call a green energy worker?

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How would you fancy a nice neologism to go with your morning cuppa? You would? Alright then, how about: Green collar workers.

Yep, you can guess what this is all about – a term for those who do their nine to five in the green energy industry, brought to you courtesy of The Times among others.

Apparently, the august organ informs us, green collar workers are already almost as ubiquitous as faceless boybands.

Research by the American Solar Energy Society predicts that up to a quarter of US workers – more than 30m – will be employed in the renewable energy or energy-efficiency industries by 2030, and similar rises are likely in other developed countries. It expects solar and wind power and fuel cells to be the big growth areas. The European Union is setting new targets for the UK, significantly raising the percentage of energy needs to be met from renewable sources by 2020 from the current figure of 2%.

Biomass and bioenergy are also set to provide new jobs. The European Commission predicts that investment in bioenergy will create more than 800,000 full-time jobs across the EU by 2020. And the global solar power market grew more than 40% in 2007, with total capacity now sufficient to meet the annual electric needs of 3m European homes.