Recent News

By Month

See all

Energy News Network (Commentary): As Veterans Employment in Energy Declines, COVID-19 Poses New Challenges

Posted by Dan Misch on Apr 21, 2020

A commentary in Energy News Network covered the impact of COVID-19 on veteran employment in the advanced energy industry referencing AEE's survey findings. Read excerpts below and the entire Energy News Network piece here. 

At the beginning of the year, wind and solar energy were poised to have record breaking growth in 2020 with an additional 32 GW of capacity from the declining levelized cost of electricity, sunsetting government tax incentives, and increased investments from private industry to combat climate change. This growth represents a nearly 20% increase in existing capacity, creating an increasing number of clean energy jobs. However, the global spread of the novel coronavirus is challenging these projections. The research and consultancy group Wood MacKenzie suggests that clean energy investment is likely to take a hit: “all discretionary spend will be under review — that includes additional budget allocated for carbon mitigation. And companies that haven’t yet engaged in carbon reduction strategies are likely to put the issue on the back burner...”

In response to these challenges, clean energy advocates have spoken out for continued investment and government support through the extension of tax credit deadlines. Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, described the situation as a “test of governments and companies’ commitment to clean energy transitions.” Unfortunately, the U.S. is failing that test: clean energy support in the U.S. stimulus package was stripped out by Republicans because Democrats dug in their heels to stop a large purchase of oil for strategic reserves. This failure to promote investment in renewable energy growth in the face of the coronavirus economic depression is bad for jobs, veterans, and national security...

The outlook for improving veteran employment in the energy industry is grim when considering the impact the coronavirus will have on the economy. Already, the Advanced Energy Economy reports that 30% of its members have reduced their workforce and over 40% have stopped hiring. In response to 10 million unemployment filings in March, former Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz outlined a plan for an Energy Jobs Coalition with widespread strategies to support infrastructure investment and the jobs to make it happen...

Read the entire Energy News Network piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News