Are you obsessed with kicking the fossil fuel habit? Impressed by the sophistication of renewable technologies entering the mainstream, like high-efficiency solar panels and cold climate heat pumps? Or obsessed with saving money and controlling your energy budget? Whichever applies, now is a fine time to translate interest into action by adopting energy-efficient, renewable energy systems for your home or business. It is also a great time to look at the potential for working in these growing fields as you build your career back better.
Welcome to the fourth annual Clean Power Guide, a collaboration between Sustainable Hudson Valley and Chronogram Media. We publish this as a special section in Upstate House, online, and in 10,000 freestanding copies for readers throughout the region, throughout the year. We amplify the impact with special events where you can come into direct contact with experts who are ready to help you take the steps you are ready for and understand your options.
The green economy is quite broad. It encompasses energy efficiency and renewable energy, clean transportation, natural resource management, low-impact buildings and infrastructure (and the materials that go into them), recycling-based industries, and more. In these fields there are expanding opportunities in management, marketing, information technology, training, HR and other professional fields, as well as technical career paths. At the end of 2020, there were 153,000 clean energy jobs in New York—putting the state third in the nation in total clean energy employment behind California and Texas—and the Mid-Hudson is one of the top five regions for concentration of clean energy workers.
New York is ambitious and generous in its funding of these opportunities. NYSERDA funds eligible employers for the first three to four months of a new hire’s salary and cost-shares 90 percent for clean energy internships at nonprofits as well as private companies.
This year, the focus of the Clean Power Guide is on the jobs available now—and the many more that are expected in the next few years—as the state and federal government scale up climate action programs. We’re highlighting key growth sectors such as solar, wind, and geothermal that are a major focus for implementing New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. We look at specific jobs, career pathways, training resources, and funding programs. And we ask a hard question: How good are those jobs?
For the consumer, we’ve got a special treat too. Tom Konrad is one of the most knowledgeable people in our region on small-scale renewable energy technologies for home and business, and the marketplace trends you need to understand. Tom has built his knowledge as a writer for AltEnergyStocks, and shares it generously—both as a volunteer energy coach with New Yorkers for Clean Power and as chair of the Marbletown Environmental Conservation Commission, which is working with Sustainable Hudson Valley to implement the town’s 100 percent Renewables Action Plan. Read, enjoy, strategize.