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Get the latest news from Ecotech Institute, plus alumni stories, alternative energy job market updates, and renewable energy tips.

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Ecotech Institute Students Awarded Prestigious Scholarship by WRISE

We are excited to report that three of Ecotech Institute’s female wind energy technology students were recently awarded 2017 Wind at Our Backs Scholarships by Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), an organization that promotes the education, professional development, and advancement of women in the renewable energy economy.

IRENA Report: Renewable Energy Employs Almost 10 Million People

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently published its latest annual report on the state of the industry. According to the report, the renewable energy industry now provides jobs for more than 9.8 million people worldwide.

[VIDEO] Students Build a Solar Phone Charger

Ecotech Institute students recently built an energy storage box that will pull from solar energy to charge four cell phones at a time. They used a milk crate and solar panel to create the box. Ecotech Institute Solar Energy Technology Program Director Christopher Janin supervised the project.

NRDC Highlights Ecotech Institute’s Role in Colorado Wind Energy

Ecotech Institute was recently featured in an article examining the ongoing growth of Colorado’s wind energy job market. Titled, “The Job Market Is Spinning for Colorado’s New Wind Workforce,” the piece was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit international environmental organization focused on protecting the air, the water, and the wild.

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Gold Rush is Under Way

The world is on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution. Investments in renewable energy are at an all-time-high, and the majority of countries now have policies that support renewable energy in one way or another.

Wind Systems Magazine Spotlights Auston Van Slyke and Ecotech Institute

Ecotech Institute’s Program Director, Auston Van Slyke was recently highlighted by Wind Systems Magazine, a monthly publication covering all aspects of the wind energy industry. Published in the magazine’s December 2016 issue, the detailed two-page interview provides an insider’s look into the wind turbine technician job and what makes it one of the fastest-growing professions today.

Ecotech Institute’s Auston Van Slyke Featured in U.S. News & World Report

Ecotech Institute’s Wind Energy Technology Program Director, Auston Van Slyke was recently featured in a thought-provoking article by U.S. News & World Report. The piece highlights Van Slyke’s first encounter with wind turbines, which inspired him to learn more about the technology, and provides an informative overview of the wind turbine technician (a.k.a. wind tech) profession.

Clean Energy Industry Future Is Brighter than Ever

As we settle into the new year, let’s take a look at what the passing year meant for the clean-energy sector. In fact, we wouldn't be amiss to say that both 2015 and 2016 were truly game-changing for the industry.

New Nature-Inspired Wind Turbines to Be Installed in Paris

Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing energy industries in the world — and for good reason. Wind energy is 100 percent clean, and doesn’t pollute the air or water like fossil fuel-based power plants; it’s based upon an endless supply of energy that does not need to be imported and it is one of the most cost-efficient renewable energy technologies that exist today.

Google Vows to Switch Entirely to Renewable Energy in 2017

We all know that the future belongs to renewable energy, and sooner or later we may all power our homes, cars and devices from renewable energy sources. However, some companies think that this future has already arrived.

4 Reasons to Be Thankful for Renewable Energy

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are most grateful for, from friends and family to pumpkin pie. At Ecotech Institute, we are additionally thankful for the innovation and hard work that makes clean energy technology a reality. In honor of the holiday, we’d like to give thanks to renewable energy.

5 Reasons to Be Hopeful About the New Energy Economy

2016 has been a big year for renewable energy. Jobs in the field are on the rise, the price of clean energy technology is continuing to drop, and more and more people — both at the residential and corporate level — are adopting renewable energy. Here are five reasons to be hopeful about the new energy economy.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Nov. 7-13, 2016

A new report shows 2015 was a record year for solar PV installations, a UK sports team makes plans for a low-carbon wooden stadium, and Norway makes strides toward its goal of 100 percent electric vehicle drivership. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

How to Weatherproof Your Home

Officially, the winter solstice is weeks away, but depending on where you live, temperatures may have already started to drop. Now is a great time to make sure you are prepared for colder weather. Weatherizing your home can have a major impact on your energy use during the winter months.

Here are a few things you can do to make your home more energy efficient this year.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2016

A new report shows that global offshore wind capacity could reach 400 GW by 2045, Germany gets the world’s first hydrogen powered, emission-free train, and the U.S. Department of Transportation announces a new plan that will help drivers with electric vehicles power up across the country. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 24-30, 2016

Elon Musk reveals Tesla’s new innovative solar roof tiles, U.S. wind power share surpasses 10 percent in 11 states, and Danish company Dong Energy reaches an impressive milestone for offshore wind turbine installation. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Beware of (Energy) Vampires

From Dracula, to Angel and Spike of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Marceline of Adventure Time, vampires have taken many forms in pop culture over the years. But while these fictional monsters provide thrills and entertainment, many people don’t know that a different type of vampire is lurking in every household — energy vampires.

6 Things to Know About “Clean Coal”

By Walter Christmas

Many politicians from coal-producing states have talked about investing our energy future in “clean coal technology.” But what does that mean? And is that our best move with regards to energy costs and environmental concerns like global climate change?

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 17-23, 2016

The world’s first wind-hydro farm is set to be installed in Germany, Target earns the top spot on SEIA’s list of U.S. corporations with the most solar power, and the U.S. Department of Energy announces a $21 Million investment to fund solar adoption. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 10-16, 2016

Researchers propose a new innovation that could turn building windows into solar PV systems, GRID Alternatives brings solar power to tribal communities in the United States, and new figures predict that global wind capacity will reach 500 GW by the end of the year. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Offshore Wind Energy is Making a Splash

If you keep up with renewable energy industry news, you’ve probably noticed a lot of headlines about offshore wind energy. The development of offshore wind farms has already gained traction in several European countries over the past couple of years, but now other nations are joining in, including the United States. Here are a few things you should know about this growing trend.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Oct. 3-9, 2016

A recent survey finds that a majority of Americans favor the development of renewable energy, the U.S. makes plans to install more offshore wind capacity and new data shows power plant emissions are declining. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Reading List: Five Renewable Energy Blogs to Follow

The good news about the internet is that it provides us with an endless supply of information and resources. The bad news about the internet is that you have to navigate an endless supply of information and resources to find the content you really want.

Keeping up with industry news is important if you want to pursue a career in renewable energy. Here are five blogs covering industry news, innovations and policies that you can add to your digital reading list.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2016

The global offshore wind market reaches record numbers, the Big Apple aims to boost its energy storage and solar efforts, and a Japanese engineer debuts a new type of wind turbine that could harness the power of typhoons. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

How to Stand Out to Renewable Energy Employers

Looking for a job can be a daunting task, especially when you're looking to launch your career in renewable energy. Entering a new industry can feel like stepping into the unknown, and anyone who says they've never felt nervous about a job interview is probably not being entirely honest.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: September 19–25, 2016

SEIA launches a first-of-its-kind recycling program for solar PV waste, the city of Los Angeles takes steps toward running on 100 percent renewable energy, and Elon Musk announces the unveiling of Tesla's new solar rooftop product. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Four Hispanic Leaders Making History in the Energy Sector

September 15 through October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. To honor this observance, here are four Hispanic leaders that are making a mark on the energy sector, from researchers and policy-makers, to advocates for diversity in the industry.

Renewable Energy Industry News Roundup: September 12–18, 2016

General Motors aims to power its operations completely through clean energy sources by 2050, Facebook announces plans for a new data center that will run on 100 percent renewables, and the U.S. Department of Energy dishes out more funding for its SunShot Initiative. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

From Cover Letters to Resumes: How to Get a Job in Renewable Energy

Writing a good cover letter and building a solid resume are two universal skills that all job seekers must learn. But depending on the industry you're in, there are some key strategies that might not be covered by general best practices. If you're looking for a renewable energy career, these tips can help you put your best foot forward during your job search.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: September 5–11, 2016

Costa Rica hits a major renewable energy milestone, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) releases a report on how the U.S. can support the increasing amount of solar and wind energy generation, and utilities invest in solar as prices continue to drop. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

5 Signs You Should Be a Solar Energy Technician

This year, the U.S. solar industry hit a major milestone when it hit 1 million solar installations. The Solar Energy Industries Association predicts that this number could double in just two years. The growing demand for solar means that there is also a growing demand for a trained workforce. Basically, it's a good time to work in solar energy.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 29–Sept. 4, 2016

New data shows that renewable energy generation is rising across the board, GE explores the possibility of floating offshore wind farms, and another Colorado city commits to reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: August 22–28, 2016

Tech companies look to renewable energy as power-hungry data centers become a growing part of their operations, the U.S. government's SunShot Initiative continues to hit it goals in decreasing the price of solar, and more CEOs list sustainability as a top business concern. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy industry news roundup.

8 Renewable Energy Organizations You Should Know About

Joining the renewable energy workforce is about more than just starting your career. It's about becoming a part of a larger community of people who share your interest in creating cleaner energy sources. Whether you're a pursuing a career in wind energy, in solar technology, or another sector of the renewable energy industry, there are numerous organizations you can get involved with.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: August 15–21, 2016

The first offshore wind farm in the United States completes construction, wind energy prices continue to drop while the amount of energy capacity continues to soar, and NASA sets its sights on reducing CO2 emissions created by jet travel. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

4 Solar-powered Inventions That Will Change the World

If you're training to become a solar energy technician, you probably already understand the power and impact of renewable energy. But the level of innovation happening in the solar industry goes far beyond residential and commercial solar panel installation. Creative minds are using the power of solar to reach new heights (literally, in one case), and make living environments better for people locally and abroad.

4 Companies Making Major Strides in Sustainability

The cost of wind and solar power is lower than ever, prompting more companies to think about how they can invest in renewable energy to not only reduce their carbon footprint, but also save money. As sustainability becomes a key factor in business operations, it's no wonder that organizations are starting to create roles for sustainability specialists who can focus specifically on how companies can be more energy efficient and utilize cleaner power sources.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: August 8–14, 2016

Wind turbine vendor Vestas takes its spot as top dog in a new report, Apple expands its renewable energy efforts to new data centers in Ireland, and solar manufacturers change up their growth strategies. Read about this and more in this week's renewable energy industry news roundup.

10 Renewable Energy Twitter Accounts You Should Follow

If you're interested in starting a career in renewable energy, it's important to keep up with what's happening in the industry. A great way to stay in the know is to use Twitter. From clean energy-focused publications, to trade associations, non-profits and research labs, many of the key players in renewable energy have an active presence on the popular microblogging site.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: August 1–6, 2016

Tech giant Apple gets the green light to sell electricity from its renewable and other energy generators, the first offshore wind turbine gets installed in the United States, and researchers predict the global wind market to reach over 700 gigawatts (GW) by 2020. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 25–31, 2016

The nation's first offshore wind farm is in the final stages of construction, a $27 million project in the Port of Los Angeles will bring clean energy to marine terminal operations, and Alliant Energy Corp. has plans to expand Iowa's wind power. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable Energy Jobs are Booming in Colorado, Across U.S.

Auston Van Slyke, program director for the wind energy technology program at Ecotech Institute, recently wrote about the growth of jobs in renewable energy in Colorado and across the country in a byline for the Denver Business Journal.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 18–24, 2016

Target is jumping into the wind energy sector, the Obama administration announces new energy plans to up current clean energy initiatives, and Xcel Energy cuts the ribbon on its 150-MW North Dakota wind farm. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 11–17, 2016

A Kansas city that was once destroyed by wind is now 100 percent wind-powered, drones are pervading the solar sector to increase solar installation efficiency, and Long Island may become home to the nation's largest wind farm. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

3 Unexpected Technologies Improving Renewable Energy

Renewable energy technology is always changing — solar cells are being developed to convert more energy, wind turbines are being designed to operate more efficiently, and energy storage is growing leaps and bounds to make the most of the power collected by these renewable energy sources. But, there are also a lot of smaller innovations that go unnoticed. Here are three examples of how technology is being used in unexpected ways to improve renewable energy.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 4–10, 2016

New solar developments may repurpose 15 million acres of U.S. landfills, Texas is using climate change to benefit the wind industry and a new system will help New England wind farms produce energy that actually makes it to the grid. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy news roundup: June 27–July 3, 2016

The World Green Building Council announces its “Advancing Net Zero” initiative, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. agree to reach 50 percent clean power generation by 2025, and Amazon is turning to local partners to increase renewable energy efforts. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

You Might Make a Great Wind Energy Tech If...

The wind energy industry is blowing up — wind was the largest source of new electric generating capacity that came online in 2015 according to data from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). That means there are now more openings for wind energy technicians. The job can be highly rewarding, but it takes a certain type of person to succeed in this challenging role.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: June 20–26, 2016

A solar-powered plane hits a milestone on its journey around the globe, a new report maps out the ways utility companies can provide solar power to neglected communities, and the Feds end an "unjust" exemption for wind farms. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

5 Traits That Define the Next Renewable Energy Leaders

Not only is the new energy economy on the rise, it’s here to stay. But to continue this progress toward using cleaner sources for power, the renewable energy industry needs strong leadership. More and more professionals are joining growing fields like wind energy and solar energy, but the leaders of the shift toward renewable energy possess certain traits that will help drive the industry forward.

Renewable energy news roundup: June 13–19, 2016

Tropical island countries that are the most threatened by climate change could become the first 100 percent renewable nations, the cost of wind-generated electricity is cheaper than ever before and Wyoming's wind energy taxes could bring North America's largest wind farm plans to a halt. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: June 6–12, 2016

Apple announces plans to sell a brand new product and it's not the new iPhone, Texas may soon be named the nation's biggest solar supplier, and over half of all U.S. states use renewable energy policies that you may have never heard of. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

3 Reasons to Celebrate Global Wind Day

Global Wind Day is a worldwide event that occurs annually on June 15. The event serves as a way to inform and educate people on wind energy, its power and the possibilities it offers in helping the evolution of our energy systems, benefitting the environment and boosting job growth.

10 Inspirational Quotes about Energy and Sustainability

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know that sustainability is an important issue. The advancements made in renewable energy and energy efficiency help us breathe easier (clean air benefits from wind power totaled $7.3 billion in public health savings in 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Association), bring power to remote areas that otherwise would not have access to electricity and preserve the planet's finite resources.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 30-June 5, 2016

Twenty-one countries announce plans to double clean energy research, New Orleans receives a federal grant for green infrastructure projects, and new research claims that the Midwest has the potential to reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.

5 Animated Characters That Make Sustainability Cool

From solar and wind technicians to environmental specialists, the dedicated individuals working in renewable energy and sustainability are doing a lot to make our world a better place to live. When the job gets tough, or you’re exhausted from a long day of work, it can be hard to remember just how important these roles are. Need a dose of inspiration (and a little nostalgia)? Check out this list of some of our favorite fictional environmentalists that’s sure to cheer you up.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 23-29, 2016

New data shows clean energy employed more than 8 million people globally in 2015, Google receives an award from AWEA for its leadership in wind energy, and the UK unveils its first solar PV bus stop. Read these stories and more in this week’s roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 16-22, 2016

Microsoft continues its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, offshore wind projects have the potential to create 19,000 jobs in Virginia, and a new report from FERC report shows that nearly all new electric capacity added in Q1 of 2016 was renewable energy. Read these stories and more in this week's roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 9–15, 2016

Nine companies in the RE100 reach their goal of operating on 100 percent renewable energy, Facebook and Microsoft launch a national effort to make purchasing renewable energy easier, and the Better Buildings Challenge delivers $1.3 billion in savings. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

By the Numbers: Top U.S. States for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a big deal in the United States. In fact, last year more than half of all new power capacity came from clean energy, with wind energy taking the top spot for new electric generating capacity in 2015.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: May 2–8, 2016

San Diego makes plans to use 100% renewable energy by 2035, Massachusetts moves forward with a bill that could lead to a boom in offshore wind energy, and the Tesla Powerwall goes to market in the US. Read these stories in more in this week's news roundup.

Got the Power: A Renewable Energy Playlist

When you're in need of an energy boost, it often can be found in something as simple as a well-curated playlist. And because energy is all around us, it's no surprise that the topic comes up so often in music. The next time you're in the mood for some tunes, consider cranking up the volume on these energy-themed songs perfect for anyone working in the energy field, from linemen and electrical engineering technicians to solar installers and wind turbine technicians.

Earth Day 2016: Why Pursue Jobs in Renewable Energy?

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 bring awareness to environmental issues. Over four decades later, the holiday continues to drive our focus toward finding sustainable solutions for a healthier planet. That can mean a lot of different things for different people. From making individual choices to use less and recycle more, to advocating for policies that increase our use of renewable energy sources, building a sustainable future relies on everyone doing their part, from giant organizations, to local communities and individuals.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: April 10–17, 2016

Colorado and California lead in wind energy and solar energy, Ford announces green initiatives, and 130 nations will sign the Paris climate change accord on Earth Day. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

Wind Energy is Blowing Up: Highlights from AWEA's Annual Report

The wind energy industry is a great place to be right now. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor listed wind turbine service technician as the top growing job across all occupations. Now, new data from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) shows exactly why the industry is seeing this impressive job growth.

Busting 5 Myths About Renewable Energy

The renewable energy industry is thriving — more solar and wind energy capacity is being installed each year, clean energy jobs continue to increase, and more people are getting on board with the shift to using sustainable resources. But many myths about renewable energy remain — as they say, haters gonna hate. We decided to set the record straight on the following five misconceptions about the industry.

Report: 2.5 Million Americans Work in Clean Energy

The clean energy job market is booming, according to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The report, titled Clean Jobs America, estimates that more than 2.5 million people now work in clean energy in the U.S.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: April 3-10, 2016

Facebook and other major corporations incentivize sustainability, renewable energy investment outpaces gas and coal 2 to 1, and new solar panels generate energy in rain. Read these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: March 20–27, 2016

A new app calculates the carbon-footprint of employees' daily commutes, a South Korean company develops a hydroelectric turbine that can fit in your backpack and solar energy heats up in the state of Virginia. Read these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: March 13–20, 2016

A new app calculates the carbon-footprint of employees' daily commutes, a South Korean company develops a hydroelectric turbine that can fit in your backpack and solar energy heats up in the state of Virginia. Read these stories and more in this week’s news roundup.

Good News: Wind Energy Tech is Top Growing Occupation

Interested in a career in wind energy? You're in luck. Wind turbine service technician is now the fastest growing occupation in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The occupation is projected to grow 108 percent by­ 2024.

Celebrating Women in Renewable Energy

March is Women's History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of women and the impact they have made on society. Countless women have paved the way for others in STEM professions, including renewable energy. The following four individuals are just a few examples of women making a difference in the industry today.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Feb. 21–28, 2016

Groups urge NYC mayor to ramp up offshore wind development, Bill Gates joins in on the climate change conversation and MIT researchers create citywide building energy model. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

What If Video Game Characters Worked in Renewable Energy?

Professionals working in the renewable energy industry are true everyday heroes. They help design, build and maintain technologies that produce cleaner, more efficient energy to fuel society's daily needs and help preserve the planet.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Feb. 14–21, 2016

The demand for green buildings grows, a beverage company invests in a recycling initiative and a bipartisan agreement to focus on renewable energy development. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

Do Solar Panels Add Value to Your Home?

As the price of residential solar power becomes more affordable, more homeowners are making the decision to install rooftop solar PV panels. Some of the benefits are pretty clear — opting into solar power lessens a household’s carbon footprint and lowers electricity costs. But research has also shown that having solar panels installed can increase a home’s value in the housing market.

5 Exciting Innovations in Energy and Sustainability

One of the most exciting things about the renewable energy industry is that there is no end to innovation — everyday there is something new. From new designs for wind turbines and updates to solar panels to trendy gadgets that help people power their electronic devices, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs are working constantly to improve the way we use and conserve energy.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Jan. 31 - Feb. 7, 2016

Europe reports doubled wind energy investments in 2015, President Obama seeks to increase the amount of funding toward clean energy, and Super Bowl 50 proves to be a green champion. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup:

5 Black Environmentalists Making History in Energy and Sustainability

February is Black History Month, a time where we honor and celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans. There have been many scientists, activists and politicians who've played an important part in promoting sustainability and eco-awareness throughout the years.

5 Last-minute Energy Efficiency Tips for Winter

We all know that the weather doesn't actually depend on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog's Day. Either way, winter weather will continue to linger for at least a little while longer and that will impact your home energy use. If you've managed to make it this far without weatherizing your home, you may think it's too late to make a difference. But that's not the case!

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Jan. 24–31, 2016

Facebook announced a new data center that will be powered completely by wind energy, consumers demand corporate social responsibility, and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that in 2015 the American wind industry installed almost 8.6GW. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Jan. 10–24, 2016

President Obama discussed climate change in his final State of the Union, a new Solar Foundation report finds ongoing strong growth in U.S. solar energy employment, and New York plans to invest $5 billion in clean energy. Read these stories and more in this week's news roundup.

3 Renewable Energy Takeaways from the State of the Union Address

Just a few weeks into 2016, renewable energy is already a hot topic in the news. In President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, he talked about important issues for the United States. Among these issues, the president focused on climate change and noted that America "should invest in the future."

Renewable Energy Predictions for 2016

2015 was a big year in renewable energy. In August, President Obama took a historic step in tackling climate change in the United States when he announced the Clean Power Plan.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Dec. 20, 2015–Jan. 10, 2016

2015 ended with some big news for the renewable energy industry both in the United States and around the world. Cities on the west coast tackled climate change, wind energy set a new record in the U.S. and Congressional tax credits help forecast a great 2016.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Dec. 13–20, 2015

World markets react to the landmark Paris climate deal, the Environmental Protection Agency begins implementation of its Clean Energy Incentive Program and innovative New York architects propose a 40-block green space in the heart of New York City. These stories and more in this week's renewable energy industry news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Dec. 6-13, 2015

This week in renewable energy was indeed a busy one. On the global stage, the United Nations approved a landmark climate accord in Paris and more companies joined RE100's mission for 100% renewable energy. In Ecotech Institute's backyard, Sunrun Inc. will bring 800 solar energy jobs to Colorado and Utah's first utility-scale solar farm went online. This news and more in this week's renewable energy roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Nov. 29-Dec. 6, 2015

Congress looks to pass a new renewable energy tax break extension, Google nearly doubles its renewable energy capacity for data centers and more of the world's biggest companies join the White House's climate pledge. See how public and private sectors are both making strides towards a sustainable future in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Nov. 22-29, 2015

Sin City announces plans for 100 percent clean energy use, LM Wind looks to hire in North Dakota and underwater balloons could be the answer for storing unused renewable energy. Check out these and other stories in this week's renewable energy news roundup.

How Does Cheap Oil Affect the Future of Wind Energy?

"Will cheap oil drive wind energy out of the electricity market?" This is one of the most popular questions Walter Christmas, wind energy technology instructor at Ecotech Institute, gets asked by his students.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Nov. 15-22, 2015

The U.S. Energy Department allocates funds for solar tech, green building generates 2.3 million jobs and construction on the tallest wind tower in the United States is underway in Iowa. Read these stories and more in this week's renewable energy news roundup:

3 trends to watch for in the power utility industry

If a fortuneteller looked into a crystal ball to glimpse the future of the power utility industry, he or she would see a future full of progress and changes. A big reason for this is new innovations trying to address the diverse challenges and opportunities in the different regions in the United States. At the same time, the industry needs to balance this with pressures to reduce costs, streamline operations, and meet state and national regulations for security and environmental compliance.

What are wind energy certifications?

Understanding all the different certifications needed in wind energy can be confusing. There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences among the certifications. Walter Christmas, wind energy technology instructor at Ecotech Institute, recently helped sort out the differences in an article for Wind Systems magazine.

5 questions prospective power utility technician students should ask

The stuff someone is already good at, and enjoys doing, is an important consideration if choosing a power utility technician program. That might seem like a no-brainer, but prospective students should take the time to match up their skills and interests with possible career paths in power utility. For example, those with a knack for problem solving, thinking on their feet and don't have a fear of heights may be interested in working as a lineman.

Q&A with Danny Wilson, Ecotech Institute Power Utility Technician student

Danny Wilson has more than 20 years working in technology-related fields. He's a retired member of the United States Air Force and holds a number of degrees, including a master's in business administration. He has a family and also works full time. Soon, Danny will have one more item to add to his extensive and impressive resume — a degree in power utility technology.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Nov. 8-15, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, focus on a low carbon economy has the potential to create millions of jobs, U.S. states fight to get carbon tax initiatives on the ballot and wind energy competes with coal in the American heartland.

All about power utility technology: Q&A with Ecotech Institute instructor Kerry Urbaniak

Kerry Urbaniak is the lead electronics instructor for the Power Utility Technician program at Ecotech Institute. Before teaching, Kerry's work experience spanned across several areas. He first got started working in electronics in the U.S. Army, where he worked in satellite communications. After that, he worked on aircraft instruments in Florida for a few years before becoming an instructor.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Nov. 1–Nov. 8, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, President Obama officially rejects the Keystone XL project, companies and individuals invest big money in clean energy, and a new World Resources Institute study predicts renewable energy supply numbers.

Looking for a Job in Power Utility Technology? Try these 10 states

The power utility field is in the middle of a huge shift. The current workforce is aging out of the profession and creating a high demand for young professionals (with the proper training and skills) to take their place. But where are all of these job opportunities?

What do power utility technicians do?

Power utility is a diverse industry, which means that when it comes to pursuing a career in the field, there is a large range of options. The cool thing about it is that lifestyle preferences can help define the career path taken.

Is a career as a power utility technician right for you?

Power utility technicians help control the systems that generate and distribute electric power. Whether on a conventional grid or smart grid, the energy world is getting greener — which means that those with training in clean energy will be in especially high demand.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Oct. 25–Nov. 1, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, the USDA provides funding for over 1,110 renewable energy projects, the price of solar energy has fallen to an all-time low and large-scale renewables begin to dominate electrical generation installation in the United States.

3 essential things to know about going off the grid

Most people don't think about how much energy they use in a day, or even how it gets to their home or office. With energy often taken for granted, it may seem easier than it appears to go "off the grid". So could you do it?

A Real Day in the Life of a Wind Turbine Technician

You may have considered pursuing a career in renewable energy, particularly in wind, but wondered if it was right for you. You may wonder how much wind technicians make on average, or what employment trends looks like.

What does a Wind Energy Technician do?

In this age of rapid energy use and decreasing natural resources, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important. Wind is one of those clean, renewable energy sources that helps lead the charge. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of electrical power in the world.

Ecotech Institute Named Among Top 10 Schools 'Best for Vets'

Ecotech Institute is honored to serve so many military students – both veterans and active duty. Many students at Ecotech Institute have a military background because the hands-on skills gained while serving in the military often transition well into careers in renewable energy.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Oct. 18 - 25, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, GM looks to Mexico for wind energy, tech companies invest big in clean energy initiatives around the world, and the American Wind Energy Association releases their latest market summary.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Oct. 11 - 18, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, Washington D.C.'s Water and Sewer Authority are taking a creative approach to energy creation, a clear solar cell could turn your smartphone into a solar energy source, and Ecotech Institute's Clean Job Index has everyone buzzing about the increase in green jobs in the U.S.

[VIDEO] How do you build a wind turbine? Watch MidAmerican Energy build one from the ground up

Harnessing the oldest source of energy in the world, wind power, is one of the more earth-friendly approaches to powering our busy world. The installation of wind turbines provides a way to control wind power without toxic waste, environmental cleanup, or pipelines. In addition, turbines require no water like other power plants. In fact, using energy produced by wind turbines is equal to saving about 35 billion gallons of water each year, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Oct. 4-11, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news update, states like Minnesota and California are taking renewable energy into their own hands and encouraging their utility providers to increase clean energy offerings including solar energy and wind energy, while nationwide companies like Comcast work to expand home energy management. In addition, the International Energy Agency is optimistic that more than a quarter of all energy produced by 2020 will be green and Citibank agrees that green efforts will save the global economy trillions of dollars.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2015

This week in renewable energy news, David Letterman has found a new gig as a climate change correspondent, experts weigh the costs and benefits of energy efficiency, and SolarCity introduces its latest rooftop installation, dubbing it the most efficient solar panel to date.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Sept. 20–27, 2015

SolarCity is doing some good with their solar PV installments and bringing renewable energy to lower income housing units; China, where 4,400 people die from air pollution each day, has vowed to prioritize clean tech partnerships; and the UK's renewable energy sector is beating out coal for the first time.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Sept. 13–20, 2015

In recent renewable energy news, solar PV installments are driving up home values, supplemental batteries and software are addressing power flow fluctuation from wind energy and the EPA is investigating Volkswagen for untrue claims about a few “clean diesel” models.

3 Hispanic Leaders in Renewable Energy

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're highlighting professionals making history in renewable energy. These individuals have made an incredible impact in the areas of atmospheric chemistry and domestic policy.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Sept. 6–13, 2015

In recent renewable energy news, Uncharted Play makes energy production easy and fun, solar energy programs are helping the White House achieve Clean Power Plan goals and a study finds that renewable energy may even benefit public health programs.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 2015

In recent renewable energy news, America’s largest solar provider has teamed up with a large financial institution to make solar energy more readily available to the masses, building owners are realizing the financial importance of energy efficiency, and non-profits and for-profits are forming coalitions to address renewables.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 23–30, 2015

In recent renewable energy news, President Obama is traveling the country discussing the importance of the Clean Power Plan, particularly solar energy in Las Vegas, and families around the world are going off the grid.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 16-23, 2015

This week in renewable energy news, we get an inside look at Microsoft's wind energy strategy and Google's latest venture aims to explore the potential of solar energy. Also, don't miss the video of some cute and convincing eco-friendly kids!

Renewable energy industry news roundup: Aug. 9-16, 2015

In this week's renewable energy news, the release of the Clean Power Plan is hitting wind power at its peak, SunPort is creating on-demand solar energy, Europe is investing like crazy in offshore wind and tech giants are playing in the renewable energy space.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 26-Aug. 2, 2015

This week in renewable energy news, a new study suggests benefits from combining California and Wyoming's wind energy and solar energy as Fortune 500 companies such as Apple and Coca-Cola join the White House's climate change pledge.

Renewable energy industry news roundup: July 12-July 19, 2015

This week in renewable energy news, U.S. states continue to expand focus on wind energy and solar energy, and Amazon announces its biggest renewable energy project toward its goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy usage.

Ecotech Institute Student Team Builds Soil Saturation Watering Device

At Ecotech Institute every student completes a Capstone class where they are required to take what they've learned and apply it through a hands-on team project. Students typically choose a project related to energy efficiency or that can demonstrate alternative energy power. Recently, four students, Tiffany Garduno, Briane Montoya, Jesse Parry, Mark Iverson and Clifford Thompson, worked together to create a watering device that would operate based on soil saturation levels.

INDUSTRY WATCH: Three Trends all Electrical Engineering Technicians are Tracking

A career in electrical engineering technology has endless possibilities. It's just like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where the reader gets to make choices and is in charge of their experience. The same goes for electrical engineering technicians since they aren't just limited to one field. Because there are so many paths available to technicians it can be tough to predict specific trends in the field.

What electrical engineering technicians do

Depending on exact duties, EETs can also be called engineering technicians, electronics technicians or instrument and controls technicians.

They are often responsible for identifying issues and finding their solutions.

EMPLOYER INTERVIEW: Peter Luciano, Service Manager, Konecranes Denver

Industrial cranes might seem like large, looming objects straight out of a Transformers movie. But, for the electrical engineering technicians (EET) working at Konecranes, being around this cool, enormous equipment—and making sure it's functioning correctly—is just another day on the job. Konecranes is the overhead crane industry leader and offers a range of lifting solutions. Ecotech Institute had the chance to chat with Peter Luciano, Service Manager for the Konecranes Denver location, to find out what it is like to work at the crane company with the largest service team in the world.

Is an electrical engineering career for you?

The renewable energy movement created a demand for new tools, technologies and equipment to help us use our energy more efficiently. This resulted in a growing need for people to help manage, maintain and repair this new gear. For those who love new challenges every day, working with their hands and solving problems, this can be a cool career that keeps them on their toes. It's just the kind of job perfect for someone who dreads being trapped at a desk all day. Think it's right for you?

How to Tell the Difference Between an Electrical Engineering Technician, an Electrician, and an Electrical Engineer

Some people might think Jell-O, jelly and a Jell-O shot are the same just because of the similarities in their names. There can be similar confusion with jobs or career paths that are closely related or sound alike. Professionals in the field of electrical engineering technology (EET) sometimes come across people who aren't really sure how EET is different from what engineers do. Or what an electrician does.

Q & A: Mark Jaros, Electrical Engineering Technology graduate from Ecotech Institute

Mark Jaros was no stranger to electronics when he first enrolled at Ecotech Institute. For more than eight years, he ran his own home automation systems company. Then he heard the call of renewable energy. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering technology in 2014, and started working for DeWind, a wind energy company, as a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) wind technician.

[INFOGRAPHIC] How tall are wind turbines?

There's a reason the wind energy industry attracts thrill-seekers. Today's wind turbines have doubled in size from a few years ago, standing 328 feet tall on average. Wind technicians get to climb to the very top of the tower of these powerful machines, offering an amazing and exhilarating view.

1.2 Million Clean Job Opportunities Available in First Quarter of 2015, According to Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index

California had the most openings in renewable energy jobs, followed by Texas and New York

May 21, 2015 -Denver, Colo.-.-Ecotech Institute's Clean Jobs Index reported more than one million green energy job postings across the nation in the first quarter of 2015. The Clean Jobs Index classifies clean energy jobs based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics description, which says that clean jobs are jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. The classification also includes jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

Renewable energy and jobs: Annual review 2015

In this second edition, IRENA estimates that renewable energy employed 7.7 million people, directly or indirectly, around the world in 2014 (excluding large hydropower). This is an 18% increase from the number reported the previous year.

US solar installed capacity to reach 40GW by 2017

Solar, the fastest growing source of renewable energy in America, will be producing enough energy to power eight million homes by 2017, with all solar markets expected to grow 25-50% in this period.

5 Ways We Could Get More Solar Power

There's a solar boom happening in America. In the last six years, installations of solar panels have jumped 1,700%. Prices for solar energy have fallen 50% to 70%. There's now a well-established ecosystem of installers and service companies, and plenty of finance options, too.

Ecotech Institute Graduate to Speak at Denver Switch event, Offering Her Ideas for Intelligent Recycling: Creating Treasures from Trash

Event showcases fast-paced TEDx-style presentations on sustainable energy ideas

Denver, Colo. - May 12, 2015 - On Thursday, May 14, Yvette Alley, an Ecotech Institute graduate, will join ten other speakers at Denver's second annual switch event, highlighting sustainable energy ideas. This event gives energy change-makers a few minutes each to present their ideas for social change and industry innovation. Yvette will present on a topic she first wrote a paper on while attending Ecotech Institute, intelligent recycling and vehicle sustainability. She wants companies to start thinking of ways to build a truly smart car, one that uses recycled metals. One idea for this is using the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group near Phoenix, the site of many miles of retired military aircraft.

Hawaii hopes to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2045

Under a bill passed in early May by the Hawaii legislature, the state’s power should come entirely from renewables by 2045. Governor David Ige has until the end of June to sign the bill, at which point Hawaii will have the most ambitious energy goals of any American state.

How to get a solar-based future, according to MIT

The MIT team behind The Future of Solar Energy, a study released in early May, believes solar alone has the potential to address climate change by mid-century, but warns that are three potential hurdles solar must overcome to fulfill its huge potential.

Ecotech Institute's President to Join Forum on the Future of Energy at Colorado Energy Expo

Event gathers education and industry leaders to discuss energy innovation and the economic implications for Colorado

Denver, Colo. — May 8, 2015 — On Wednesday, May 13, high school students across Colorado will have the opportunity to learn about the future of the energy industry and potential energy careers. It's all part of Colorado Energy Expo's new "Student Career Development Forum". Chris Gorrie, Ecotech Institute's school president will take part in the forum on "Identifying Pathways toward Energy Careers". Two sessions will be held to discuss this topic. Other energy and education leaders joining Chris will include:

[INFOGRAPHIC] How popular is solar energy?

The popularity of solar energy is heating up. More than half a million homes and businesses use some sort of solar power, and every four minutes a solar system is installed.

MidAmerican Energy plans $900 million wind expansion in Iowa

MidAmerican Energy announced Friday it has filed plans with the Iowa Utilities Board for the development of up to 552 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa, representing an additional investment of about $900 million in wind energy.

Ecotech Institute Offers Job Insights, Advice and Resources in Latest eBook: "Starting A Career in Energy Efficiency"

Free, comprehensive guide gives future energy professionals all the tools necessary for a green career change

Denver, Colo. - April 30, 2015 - Ecotech Institute, the first and only college in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy jobs and sustainability, today announced the release of a new eBook on how to start a career in energy efficiency. This free, comprehensive guide covers everything from a day in the life of energy project managers, potential salary earnings, required skills, and even insights from the CEO of Essess, a company that uses thermal imaging to assess energy efficiency.

4 jobs in energy efficiency

There's no better time than the present to consider a career in energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, energy management services have become an increasingly important part of the American economy.

5 home energy wasters

We've talked about the work of energy auditors and how they identify inefficiencies and recommend energy-friendly solutions for homeowners and business owners. But what are some of the biggest energy wasters?

Industry watch: Three Reasons Energy Efficiency Will Rock the World

Energy efficiency has the potential to rock our world - and in a big way. According to the Department of Energy, optimizing energy use can save families hundreds of dollars on their heating and cooling bills in the first year. Collectively, it has reduced the nation's energy bills by more than $2 billion annually.

Using new technologies in energy efficiency. Q&A with Navi Singh

Essess, a software company specializing in thermal imaging, can do just that. They assess (yes, their name is a clever play on words) energy efficiency and use data to tell utility companies which utility customers are leaking heat so they can then tell their customers where exactly the issue is and what fixes are available.

Working in energy efficiency: What's it like? Q&A with Evan Anderson

Evan Anderson is a project manager, architectural consultant and certified passive house consultant for Zola Windows, a custom, high-end, high-efficiency window company out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. His company is well known for its work in the passive house design* community, creating innovative, energy-efficient window models to meet rigorous standards of performance.

Is a renewable energy career for you?

Because careers in energy efficiency are relatively new, you probably wonder if this career field is for you. This eBook is designed to be your complete guide. Want to know how much you'll earn? That's in here.

5 things solar energy technicians know are true

There's no easy way to describe a typical day working in the solar industry, and that's just the way people who have these roles like it. Talk to a solar technician and here's what they'll probably say...

6 trends in wind energy that will blow you away

From basic windmills used to pump water to 1.5 MW mega machines weighing up to 164 tons, the way wind is harvested for energy has made huge improvements in the last century. It's basically the difference between a Ford Model T and a Shelby Mustang. Even better, the wind energy industry is just hitting its stride and there are more exciting things coming soon.

How to start a career in solar energy

The sun. It's a source of light, life and for some, a career. Working in solar energy means not staring at a computer all day, hands-on work, not having the boss constantly looking over your shoulder and solving real problems. Oh, and it's doing something good for the Earth as well. Ever wonder what a typical day is like for someone who works in solar energy? Want to know how much you'll earn? What about where those jobs are? We've got you covered.

Industry watch: 4 big changes for solar

Even though the first solar cell was created in the late 1800s, the solar energy industry is kind of like a 19-year-old. The industry has been going through a lot of changes – some of them pretty awkward – in the past few years and now it's staring down the glory days of its 20s. Wider adoption, lower costs and better technologies are all part of the future of solar energy.

Is a career in solar energy right for you?

Napoleon Dynamite said, "Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." Solar energy companies are just the same. Lots of people get into solar energy because they can't stand working at a desk all day, they want to be in charge of their own schedule and they want a job that makes a difference. But, without the right skills none of that other stuff can happen. This is what it takes to be in the solar energy industry.

Is a wind energy career right for you?

If the idea of going to work at a traditional desk job sounds boring then it might be time to consider another career option. Lots of people work in wind not only because it gets them outdoors, but also because they find the work challenging and fun. Interested in joining them out there? This is what it takes to be in the wind energy industry.

What's it like to work in wind energy? Q&A with Paul Roamer

Working in wind is no joke. Just ask Paul Roamer, President of Ethos Distributed Solutions, a Colorado-based company that provides services to the solar, wind and telecom industries. Paul shares what it's like to work in wind energy, what he's looking for in new employees, and common mistakes made on the job.

5 things wind energy technicians know are true

There's no easy way to describe a typical day working in the wind industry, and that's just the way people who have these roles like it. Talk to a wind technician and here's what they'll probably say

How to start a career in wind energy

You know that wind you enjoy on a hot summer day? Well it is the oldest source of energy in the world. And guess what? Harnessing this energy is a job that keeps you from being trapped at a desk. Oh, and you'll also feel good knowing you're doing something good for the Earth every day. This e-book is your complete guide to wind power careers. Ever wonder what a typical day is like? We've got you covered. Want to know how much you'll earn? That's in here too. What about where those jobs are? Yep, all that, and more, is in here.

Q&A with Ecotech Institute graduate Lawrence Smith

Our planet doesn't have unlimited resources, but for a long time people acted like it did. Luckily, the renewable energy field is finding ways to make use of sustainable resources. Working in the renewable energy field makes a huge difference for the environment, because these jobs focus on addressing climate change and reversing the resource depletion that has already been done.

Earth Day 2015 and the Rising Role of Renewable Energy

Earth Day always means a great deal to us here at Ecotech Institute. It’s an honor to be part of an industry where students, faculty and alumni strive to make an impact not only for our planet, but our economy as well. This is a growing field, with jobs on the rise as more and more people realize that it’s imperative to start figuring out the best means to use renewable resources.

As we celebrate Earth Day 2015, we want to continue to be on the forefront of helping lead our nation toward an energy efficient world, where renewable resources are used responsibly and effectively.

The size of solar panels

Solar cells-the things that connect to make a solar panel-come in a lot of different sizes. But most could fit inside a pocket and are typically the size of an iPhone.

Costa Rica hits 75 days powered entirely by renewable energy

This year has been a pretty special one for Costa Rica -- for the first quarter, the country's grid has required absolutely no fossil fuels to run, the state-run power supplier the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has announced.

Four Women Who Have Made a Mark in Renewable Energy

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve been sharing on Facebook and Twitter the stories of four women who’ve made their mark in renewable energy. These individuals are making an impact in green economics, environmental policy, and in the solar and wind industries. Check out each of their stories.

Power up Success in Clean Energy: Ecotech Institute to Hold "Competitive Landscape of the Green Revolution" Seminar on March 24, 2015

Led by clean energy employer, Craig Mataczynski, and hosted live at Ecotech Institute or simulcast online

Denver, Colo. — March 16, 2015 — To learn what it takes to work and succeed in the clean energy field, Ecotech Institute is hosting a "Competitive Landscape of the Green Revolution" seminar. The event will be held at Ecotech Institute in Aurora, Colo. and will also be simulcast live, for those who cannot attend in person. The free forum, which will be led by Craig Mataczynski, the CEO of Gradient Resources, will offer students and guests, interested in a green energy career, an employer's perspective on what it takes to succeed.

Four African American Leaders Making History in Renewable Energy

In honor of Black History Month, we've been sharing the stories of four professionals making history in renewable energy on our Facebook page and on Twitter. These innovative individuals are making an impact in the fields of climate research, environmental protection, environmental justice and clean energy. Check out each of their stories.

An Interview with Auston Van Slyke, Wind Energy Technology Program Director

Auston Van Slyke is the Program Director for Ecotech Institute's Wind Energy Technology program. We recently talked with him about the Wind Energy Technology program and how he sees the industry growing in the coming years.

Question: What are you most excited about right now regarding the Wind Energy Technology program?

Auston Van Slyke: We have partnered with Duke Energy to help place our students at power plants across the U.S. Duke Energy is a utility company that is a leader with smart grid technology. They own and operate 60GW of power plants, including solar and wind farms.

Sustainable Business 2.0

“We are seeing sustainability being embedded more deeply into businesses. It is being seen as a skill that people can’t do without. If we are not addressing these issues at business schools, we won’t capture the huge opportunities that sustainability issues create.” ~Andy Cartland, co-founder of sustainability-focused recruitment company Acre

The Guardian headline caught my eye: Sustainability now key selling point for business schools attracting students. While the article focused, unsurprisingly, on the UK, it did address the issue of business sustainability from a global perspective.

Should Homeowners Lease or Buy Solar Panels?

There is no doubt that installing solar panels on your home can have a number of benefits. According to a recent article in Forbes, installing solar panels can ...

Six Celebrities Who are Passionate about Sustainability

Most conversations about celebrities revolve around what designers they’re wearing or whom they’re dating. But these big names in entertainment have used their status and resources to bring the spotlight to a more important issue: sustainability ...

IRENA Reports Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014

Oil price crash or no, renewable energy is still highly competitive in the global market, according to the new Renewable Power Generation Costs report from IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency. However, ...

Solar Is the Choice for Power Jobs

What’s bright and shiny and rapidly overtaking the oil and gas industry? You guessed it: the solar industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the solar jobs sector employs ...

Ecotech Institute Names Patrick Longstreth as the School's New Academic Dean

Celebrated software programmer and longtime Ecotech Institute staff member will guide students in their pursuit of an education in renewable energy

Denver, Colorado — Jan. 20, 2015 — Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced Patrick Longstreth as the school's new academic dean. Longstreth is responsible for implementing the vision and strategic direction of Ecotech Institute; ensuring student, graduate and employer satisfaction; and making sure all staff at Ecotech Institute meet the high expectations of the school's students and Ecotech Institute's parent company, Education Corporation of America.

Ecotech Institute Now Offers Online Associate's Degree in Business Administration - Sustainability

The Business Administration-Sustainability degree program allows career seekers to earn an associate's degree in sustainability online.

Denver, Colo., — January 15, 2014 — Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced that it will offer its Business Administration-Sustainability degree program and several other college courses in sustainability online. This marks a first for students seeking an online degree in sustainability and a first for the Aurora, Colo.-based school. Online degrees focused on environmental sustainability are uncommon at the associate's degree level.

12 Clean Energy Articles to Start the New Year

I admit it. I am an information junkie. I have 380 blogs/news sites to which I subscribe in Feedly, my favorite RSS reader. Suffice it to say, I peruse the headlines of perhaps 1,000 items most every day, give or take a few LOL cats. Given my obvious interests, many of these articles relate to ...

Who's Afraid of the Clean Power Plan?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed Clean Power Plan. However, if you follow network news and/or popular political blogs, you’ve more likely heard it referred to as ...

Viva la Solar Revolution!

America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy. That is a Nov. 20 Washington Post headline describing a report by Environment America Research and Policy Center, Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America. Other report findings include ...

Climate's Big Deal

Veterans Day 2014 will be memorable as the day the U.S. and China perhaps turned the tide in the battle against global warming and climate disruption. Physicist and Founding Editor of Climate Progress ...

Ecotech Institute Again Named to the 'Best for Vets' List

Ecotech Institute is Ranked 10th among Career and Technical Colleges in 2015

Denver, Colo. — Nov. 14, 2014 — The Military Times has once again named Ecotech Institute to its Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges list. The list honors top military friendly schools doing the most for veterans. Ecotech Institute, the first and only school in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, came in at 10th out of 36 institutions. The Military Times ranks the schools based on what veterans have told them are important, such as university culture, student support, academic policies, academic quality and financial aid.

Train for a Career that Blows the Rest Away

If working with your hands in the great outdoors is your idea of a good day at work, download our eBook on wind careers to find out how you can train for a career that will let you do just that.

Clean Energy: Win, Lose, or Draw?

“Win, lose or draw, here’s one nonpartisan issue on which Republicans and Democrats alike should agree: Clean energy works for America.” Did Clean Energy win, lose or ...

Veterans Day Salute at Ecotech Institute

This week, Ecotech Institute hosted a Solar Energy Salute to Veterans Day in conjunction with Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA).

Speakers included Chris Gorrie, president of Ecotech Institute; Rebecca Cantwell, Executive Director of COSEIA; Mark Mahoney, Director of Department of Defense for Regional Environmental and Energy Office-US Army; and John Bringenberg, a faculty member at Ecotech Institute.

Ecotech Institute Names New President Chris Gorrie

As a longtime Ecotech Institute faculty member with years of in-the-field experience, Gorrie will propel Ecotech Institute to the next level in renewable energy education

Denver, Colo. — Nov. 4, 2014 — Ecotech Institute, the first and only college in the U.S. solely focused on renewable energy and sustainability, today announced Chris Gorrie as its new president. Gorrie's responsibilities include guiding the strategic direction of the school; ensuring satisfaction of students, graduates and employers; and making sure all staff at Ecotech Institute meet the high expectations of students and its parent company, Education Corporation of America.

Ecotech Institute Wins National Cleantech Award

Ecotech Institute walked away with a major award this week at the annual Colorado Cleantech Awards Celebration hosted by the Colorado Cleantech Industries Association (CCIA).

The Aurora-based school was named National Cleantech Leader by the CCIA.

Renewable Energy Costs Dropping: Treats, Not Tricks

The price of utility-scale solar power is 59 percent below where analysts thought it would be at this point back in 2010. The leveled cost of solar power (taking full account for the cost of installation, maintenance, investment, depreciation, and all the other factors in an energy source’s life cycle) is already ...

Energy Efficiency in the Spotlight

On Oct. 9, SustainableBusiness.com reported on A First: More Invested in Efficiency Than Renewable Energy. Quoting from the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014 (PDF) and other sources, SustainableBusiness.com wrote ...

Ecotech Institute Celebrates Constitution Day

On September 17, Ecotech Institute staff and students celebrated Constitution Day, the day that commemorates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Copies of the Constitution were placed prominently throughout the building so students could see this important document firsthand. Students also received commemorative bookmarks printed with the Preamble and enjoyed “Constitution cookies.”

4 Rules to Become a Networking Master

Networking. It seems simple enough, walk into a room, shake people’s hands, eat some appetizers and leave, right? For a lot of first-timers it’s not that easy. Picture walking into a room filled with some of the most prominent professionals in renewable energy and sustainability ...

9 Small Changes to Lead a More Sustainable Lifestyle

There are many small things you can do to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. These tips are simple but meaningful and can reduce your environmental footprint. Another advantage? You’ll find that making some of these changes can also lead to other benefits, such as improving your health or helping you save some cash ...

Are You a Sustainability Ninja?

The choices you make every day either help or harm the environment. When you make sustainable choices, you directly help the planet. What are you doing in your daily life to be more sustainable? You might be a sustainability ninja if you ...

Q&A with Solar Roadways founder, Scott Brusaw

You may have heard the buzz around Solar Roadways, a green tech company offering a solution to the increasing energy crisis through solar power. Cofounders, Scott and Julie Brusaw, have received funding from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and have found supporters around the world, raising over one million dollars through ...

Get in Gear: 3 Interesting Facts about Gearboxes

Our planet does not have unlimited resources, and fortunately, the renewable energy field is finding ways to utilize sustainable resources. Working in the renewable energy field makes a huge difference for the environment, because these jobs focus on addressing climate change and reversing ...

Working in Renewable Energy: What's it Like?

Our planet does not have unlimited resources, and fortunately, the renewable energy field is finding ways to utilize sustainable resources. Working in the renewable energy field makes a huge difference for the environment, because these jobs focus on addressing climate change and reversing ...

Top 10 Green Cities in America - Part 2

Becoming a green city takes significant planning and resourceful development. Last week we released the top five green cities in America, and shared what they have done to become more sustainable. Now we are revealing the next five cities on the list. Read on to find out which ones made the top 10!

Top 10 Green Cities in America - Part 1

Cities across the U.S. are stepping up and designing initiatives and policies to become more sustainable. These green cities serve as models for effectively implementing solutions that address climate change. By executing these initiatives, a city becomes a cleaner and healthier place to live. Another bonus is economic growth, because cities are now focusing more on bringing in green jobs to ...

The Times, They Are A-changin’

As an avid follower of science and sustainability news via an increasingly unwieldy collection of RSS feeds, I have been stunned by the events of this past week. I’ll start with one of the more visible news events: The 400,000 folks who participated in ...

Reports of Green Jobs Growth Are Sprouting Up All Over

Last month, I discussed a huge surge in U.S. clean energy jobs that we had noted in our Clean Jobs Index data. But don’t just take our word for it… here is a sampling of other recent green jobs growth reports ...

What Does an Energy Auditor do?

Job Opportunities for Facilities Managers

You may be most familiar with the term “audit” in the context of a financial review. While one goal of energy audits is dollar savings, energy auditors are reviewing the inflows and outflows of energy in buildings rather than dollars in monetary accounts. A fiscal auditor ensures that your budget is sound from the standpoint of economics and finance; an energy auditor ensures that your building is sound from the standpoint of physics.

The Ideal Facility Manager

“An ideal facility manager must have Aristotle’s logic and Solomon’s wisdom, a priest’s discretion and a gambler’s poker face, a lawyer’s shrewdness and a marketing director’s charm, a gladiator’s guts, a marathon runner’s perseverance and a sprinter’s speed, a leatherneck’s toughness and a dancer’s agility, lots of good luck and 30 hours per day.”  ~Unknown Source

A couple of months ago, we established that Facilities Managers are not janitors. But I don’t like defining things by what they’re not. So let’s take another look at what it takes to play the role of a facility manager.

Huge Surge in U.S. Clean Energy Jobs

In a recent blog post, I discussed how there were 6.5 million people employed worldwide in renewable energy in 2013—a 14% increase from 2012. (Cue late-night infomercial voice…) But wait, there’s more!=

We just reviewed employment data from our free online tool, the Clean Jobs Index, for the past year. The Jobs category of the Clean Jobs Index uses actual clean economy job numbers for each state, as provided by Burning Glass, a management-owned company founded by scientists and dedicated to leading technologies for matching people with jobs. Data is cross-referenced to “green jobs,” as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Drum roll, please…)

Meet the Brains behind the “Energy Moonshot”

You’ve probably heard of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or as Fast Company’s Jessica Leber elaborates, “the military’s research agency that funds the development of mind-reading science, cyborgs, and deadly robots.” But have you heard of ARPA-E? As you might can guess from the title of this article, the “E” stands for Energy. Indeed, ARPA-E is the U.S. Department of Energy’s analog to DARPA, and it’s only five years old.

The Future of Electrical Engineering Technology

There are a lot of exciting things happening in the world of electrical engineering technology. What might be most exciting is how the potential developments of today will drive tomorrow. For example, how will the technologies of today change what power sources look like in 2064? Luckily, the writers at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering's (commonly called IEEE or I-triple-E) Spectrum magazine recently explored this issue and others as part of a special report that marked the 50th anniversary of the magazine. If everything goes the way they hope, the future could be one of individuals and businesses being able to have more control over their own individual power sources.

I Can Have a Green Job?

Stalin is purported to have said, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." It's kind of like that (but in a positive sense) with jobs…one is a lifeline; a million is a statistic. So what can we say about 6.5 million jobs, in the worldwide renewable energy industry, no less? Can I at least get a "Woo hoo!"?

Considering a degree in Power Utility? 6 things you need to know

Have you ever thought about the power lines and stations that send power to your house? The people who install, maintain and improve our power supply are called power utility technicians and they play a very significant role in society. "I can't think of a more important career mission than pursuing a job in this field," said Patrick Longstreth, a program director at the Ecotech Institute. If you're interested in making a difference by joining this field, Mr. Longstreth offered these six things to know:

What's the Triple Bottom Line?

It is hard to believe, but there was a time when no one even thought to question the sustainability of a business. As awareness grew on the significant impact corporations have on people and the planet, pressure was put on businesses to act more responsibly. In order to address consumer concerns, businesses began to look for a way to measure more than just profit, and two more bottom lines were added to the mix. The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is a framework that allows businesses to measure its sustainable development and make sure it is meeting its goals. Today, a business could never be successful if it completely disregards how its practices impact our world. In the book The Triple Bottom Line, Andrew Savitz writes, "a sustainable business stands an excellent chance of being more successful tomorrow than it is today, and remaining successful, not just for months or even years, but for decades or generations." For these reasons, it is very likely the company you join will use TBL to evaluate its performance.

5 Surprising Facts About Wind Power

Wind power has shown tremendous potential as a source of renewable energy. Its popularity is also steadily increasing. Adoption of wind power in the U.S. can be seen in celebrations of Global Wind Day on June 15 across the country, as well as through initiatives to increase wind power use by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wind Program. While you may have heard about some of the benefits of wind, we want to share some facts that you might not know about and blow you away.

Let Me Tell You a Story...

As a communicator in the field of renewable energy, I can tell you that very few people's minds are changed by "facts." The overwhelming science-based evidence is quite clear on topics ranging from immunizations not causing autism to humans causing global warming. But try to convince someone who believes otherwise simply by quoting research statistics, and I'll bet you get nowhere.

New Equipment Gives Hands On Experience Where Needed

Ecotech Institute has always prided itself on providing students with real world learning opportunities. Students considering degrees in the power utility, renewable energy or residential energy management industry can now find unprecedented access to the latest technology in the field with power equipment modules and training equipment.

4 Sustainable Ways to Celebrate Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is just around the corner. According to the Farmer's Almanac it's on June 21. The Summer Solstice (there's a Winter one too) marks the time when the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere that means it's also the day of the year that has the most sunlight. To help you celebrate the longest day of the year, we've put together this list of sustainable ways enjoy it. Add your own in the comments!

Facilities Managers... We're Not Janitors

If I were to ask you, "What does a Facilities Manager job entail," what would you answer? (Hint: If you think this has something to do with janitorial services, you're way off!)

According to Wikipedia, "Facility management (or facilities management or FM) is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals, hotels, etc."

Explore the power and possibilities of wind on Global Wind Day

Global Wind Day is celebrated on June 15, with hundreds of events organized around the world designed to help promote wind power energy and it's potential for creating a sustainable environment. The worldwide observance was originally coordinated in 2009 by The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) through a network of partners.

The Coming Solar Job Boom and More News

Although recent reports have stated that investment in solar energy has decreased since 2011, the solar energy industry is poised to boom, says David Glenn at CleanTechnica. Since the overall cost of solar power has dropped 60% since the start of 2011, advancements in solar technology are becoming more and more efficient and more people are choosing solar energy for their homes and businesses. As Glenn writes, "Solar power may be old news, but its news that residents around the world are finally starting to embrace."

Why Are Veterans Drawn Toward Green Energy Jobs?

Exciting news for veterans interested in renewable energy! A new initiative, Operation Free, is connecting veterans to green energy initiatives across the U.S. Sponsored by the Truman Project for National Security and the Center for National Policy, Operation Free writes, "We recognize that climate change and our dependence on oil are national security threats. We fight on a local, state, and federal level for strong clean energy policies."

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

“It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)” ~R.E.M.

“NASA-funded study: industrial civilization headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?” asked a March 14 article by Nafeez Ahmed on The Guardian’s web site. Such headlines always catch my eye; I’ve been an avid reader of the history of the end of the world since the 1970s classic The Limits to Growth. More recently, there’s been Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, and multiple updates to The Limits to Growth, including Jorgen Randers’ 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, which I covered in a previous blog post.

Who Is Winning at Solar Energy? Industry Updates from Around the U.S.

There’s never been a better time to look for jobs in the solar energy industry. The U.S. Department of Energy recently reported that its 2011 SunShot Initiative has been completed by 60% in 3 years. This means it’s nearly 2/3 of the way to its goal of achieving cost-competitive utility-scale photovoltaic energy in the U.S. The project was originally slated to take 10 years, but with 60% completion by year 3, it’s way ahead of schedule. Costs for installing solar voltaic panels have dropped significantly in the past 3 years, making the way for more widespread solar energy adoption – and potentially more jobs for solar technicians.

 

Safety Must Be A Commitment in Wind Energy

Alden Zeitz writes as a guest blogger for Ecotext in this post.  He is a member of Ecotech Institute’s national board of advisors. He is the Manager of Renewable Energy Services for Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and offers of wealth of experience in the wind energy sector.

Day-to-day operation of a wind generation site can be a daunting experience, even for the most experienced professional. At any given time a number of tasks can simultaneously occur on site.  Successfully managing this effort can be a challenge and is critical to returning those turbines back to service as soon as possible, safely and efficiently.

 

Ecotech Institute presents, "Top Clean and Green Jobs of 2014"

The jobs are out there, but where? The renewable energy and sustainability industries offer untapped opportunity for trained and skilled workers who seek a career. Find out more in this 30-minute webinar, part of the "Living the Ecotech Lifestyle" series.

Ecotech in Focus: Students and Jobs

How many people does it take to change the world?

The answer, of course, is just one. But almost 500 are learning how to change the world for the better at Ecotech Institute. One-hundred and thirteen of them were just added at our Fall Term start on October 2, 2013. Of these:

  • 34 were veterans or relatives of veterans
  • 12 were women
  • 51 were referrals from other Ecotech students
  • 60 had attended college before

Ashley Perales, Electrical Engineering Technology

"I'm passionate about spreading knowledge to people about the industry, about renewables, because I don't think enough people understand what kind of situation we're in in the world and I want to have that knowledge so that I can share it with them.

John Wiseman, Energy Efficiency

"I didn't want to be one of a million. I wanted to have an opportunity where I can learn to use my hands and my knowledge and apply it to something where I can give back to my community and maybe the environment. And that's why I chose Ecotech.

Kimberly Fulford, Wind Energy Technology

"Eventually I want to start my own wind business installing small wind turbines on farms and places off the grid that don't have reliable access to energy.

Patrick Fisher, Wind Energy Technology

"I was formerly in the military. My background was sales and I wanted to change industries and knew that the renewable energy industry was an upcoming industry. I saw Ecotech on a commercial and I said, 'this is something that I'd like to do.'

Noah Gershon - Sunetric, Hawaii

Ecotech Institute Alumnus Noah Gershon

I consider myself very lucky because I love my job. It's engaging, I'm always learning something new, and am getting to use and build upon the skills and knowledge I learned at Ecotech. The classes were so applicable, and contained so much valuable information -- something I couldn't really appreciate until working here!

Brandon Barnes - Wind Tech 2, NextEra Energy Resources

Ecotech Alumnus Brandon Barnes

I remember how much I wanted all of this when in class and feel that others should know how great things can be if you continue to believe in yourself and don't give up. Life has been quite interesting and adventurous since Ecotech. I have travelled a lot for training and have been already promoted from a wind tech 3 to 2 in my first six months. I work in Limon, Colorado, and my job is to troubleshoot turbines and repair them when they are not running. I am just now reaching my first full year at NextEra energy, and I'm doing well for myself and family. I am now investing and just came home from a two week vacation in Sedona Arizona. My plan for the future is to become a tech 1. Once you become tech 1, you can choose any job in the company and do it, like manager or high voltage tech. I really do love my work and get better at it every day!

Michael Armin - Residential PV Installer, SolarCity

I moved out to Phoenix, Arizona last September after I graduated. I love it out here. I had a job lined up right when I got out to Arizona at SolarCity as a residential PV Installer in the Deer Valley office. I love what I do, even if it's 120° out here right now. Just recently the install crew I'm on installed two solar systems in one day, one on comp shingle roof and the other on tile, a total of 52 panels, in 105°+ heat. It's the first time a project of this magnitude has been done at SolarCity. We're on the SolarCity Facebook page also.

Shawn Sanders - Account Executive, Wind Energy Business at Dingo

Ecotech Alumnus Shawn Sanders

After graduating from Ecotech I definitely wanted to work in the wind industry however, I didn't see myself working as a technician. I wanted to work on the business side of the industry. I wanted to use my mind rather than my back to make a living, that's why I chose my current career path.

Walking the Talk – Putting the Ecotech Lifestyle in Practice

“We don’t go running away from our values.  We go drifting away, and one day wake up in a place we never meant to be, drifting in a direction we would have never chosen.” ~John G. Blumberg, Good to the Core

When I was hired as Education Corporation of America (ECA)’s first Manager—Environmental Operations, I was told the story of how my position came to be. The man who hired me, Ron Maillette, was at that time ECA’s Chief Information Officer. Ron described to me how, as ECA’s first Ecotech plans were already well underway, he had an “epiphany moment” when he realized how important it would be for ECA to “walk the Ecotech talk”—not just at Ecotech, but at our corporate headquarters and at our other campus brands nationwide. Ron went to his boss, our Chief Executive Officer, and shared his epiphany. Our CEO agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sustainability in MOOC Land

MOOC: Massive Open Online Course

If you’re wondering why I’ve been quiet lately, it’s because I’ve been involved with two big career-related events: My move into Academics (from IT) and preparation to teach my first MOOC, “Introduction to Sustainability,” through the Canvas network.

What Components Are In A Solar Energy System?

Changing sunlight into electricity, along with storing it and controlling it, fall to the main components of the PV system. The two primary types of systems in use today are stand-alone and grid-tied. Understanding their main components, how they work and how they work together makes it easy to understand why the grid-tie approach is by far the most common system in use today.

World Water Day Fun at Ecotech

World Water Day is stacking up to be quite a celebration at Ecotech this year, including conservation demonstrations by Sonne Shields, first female winner of HGTV’s “All-American Handyman,” a children’s art contest, and much more.

Cleantech Jobs, Ecotech Alumni

“If you would have told me just two years ago that I’d be living in Hawaii and working for a solar company, I would have thought you were crazy. However, that’s what I’m doing today and I couldn’t be happier.” ~Myers Nguyen, Ecotech Institute Alumnus

Clean Jobs Index: Wind Energy Technician

This is the first in a planned series of blog entries describing the occupational outlook of specific jobs for which we provide training at America’s first Ecotech Institute. Graduates of our Wind Energy Technology program are eligible for a variety of jobs, including Energy Auditors, Engineering Technicians, and Sustainability Specialists. However, the most obvious role for our graduates is that of Wind Turbine Service Technician.

The Clean Jobs Index (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cleantech)

“Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.” ~General Jack D. Ripper, in Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I wonder if any of the same folks who laugh at Gen. Ripper’s ridiculous remarks in Dr. Strangelove subscribe to any of the ridiculous Agenda 21 conspiracy theories? There are those who are trying to demonize cleantech jobs and the whole sustainability movement as some sort of socialist plot. Rather than laugh at them, I’m hoping we can help them to stop worrying and love cleantech.

What Makes a Job “Green?”

Solar panels don't install themselves. Wind turbines don’t manufacture themselves. Homes and buildings don’t retrofit or weatherize themselves. In our industrial society, trees don’t even PLANT themselves, anymore. Real people must do all of that work.

Can We “Re-Wire” Humans to Survive?

We like to think that we control our own minds. However, an increasing volume of research indicates the great extent the collective weight of evolution—embodied in a few pounds of gray matter—drives human behavior much like the proverbial tail wags the dog.

Earth as Dune: Water, Energy—and Politics

This is our entry for Masdar’s Engage: The Water-Energy Nexus blogging contest. Please vote for this entry here!

“A man’s flesh is his own; the water belongs to the tribe.” ~Frank Herbert, Dune

One year ago, there were record floods on the Mississippi River. This year, barge traffic is grinding to a halt as record drought slows the once-mighty river’s flow to a mere trickle of its former self. As I write this, we have just experienced our 333rd consecutive month of global temperatures higher than the 20th-century average. Welcome to global warming and its chaotic twin, global “weirding,” where there is only too much or too little—never just enough.

The Bottom Line on Biofuels

All biofuels are “nonsense.”

That’s the conclusion of someone who should know: Nobel-winning photosynthesis expert Hartmut Michel, currently the director of the Molecular Membrane Biology department at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics.

Getting Down to Green Business

Ah, targeted advertising: It seems I can’t visit an environmental web site without receiving an ad for a “green” MBA degree program. But all these ads make me want to ask: Just who are all these green MBAs going to manage? In other words, who’s actually going to be doing all this important green work?

Ecotech Institute Shares Top Five Cleantech Considerations For Election Time

Regardless of Party Affiliation, Elections Affect the Future of Cleantech  

 
Denver, Colorado – November 1, 2012 – Ecotech Institute, the first and only college focused entirely on preparing America’s workforce for careers in renewable energy and sustainability, has put together five things to consider this political season. 

What’s the Economy For?

Perhaps we should start an “Ecotext Book Club” to share and discuss books relating to the business Triple Bottom Line of people, planet, and profits. Recently I finished the marvelous 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years. Now I am reading What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness by David K. Batker and John de Graaf.

The Winds of Change

Our economy runs on energy. However, the price that’s now needed to develop new oil sources—approximately $100 per barrel—is the same price that brings on economic recession. There is no statistical correlation between how much oil is pumped out of the ground and how much is paid at the gasoline pump.

What is Crucial?

Every few months a small group of us former pupils drag our old mentor out of retirement for a “Sustainable Futures” reunion seminar. Two weeks ago, while our beloved Dr. Edward “Ed” Passerini was in town, he also graciously agreed to speak to my graduate class on Information Management. Wow. I don’t know about the rest of the class, but I was blown away.

Tax “Bads,” Not “Goods!”

Sometimes I wonder if anyone running our country paid any attention in Econ 101. If you tax something, people tend to buy or use less of it, if they can. So why do we tax jobs (income)? Even if most of us can’t do without them, it would seem that taxing them less might encourage us to make more of them.

Broader Education, Not Wider Roads

Last week, thanks to the folks at The Institute of Sustainability (TIOS) and The Green Register, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Ed McMahon speak. No, I wasn’t with a psychic channeling Johnny Carson’s former sidekick; I was with sustainability and environmental policy expert Edward T. McMahon, co-founder of Scenic America and current Senior Resident Fellow with the Urban Land Institute.

Turbine Technicians (not Cowboys)

If you’ve seen The Weather Channel’s Turbine Cowboys you may have a somewhat exaggerated view of the life of a typical wind turbine technician. Call it a “Reality TV” effect, akin to the “CSI Effect.” It’s not that wind energy technology work is not exciting—we happen to train wind energy technicians, and we have a 20-foot climbing tower built right into our school. But we train our technicians, both male and female, how to be safe—not how to be cowboys.

America: We’re (Tied For) Number Two…

Want to hear something amazing? China has more honor students than the U.S. has total students. Let that sink in a moment…

China just passed us in clean & renewable wind energy capacity, and they are on track to double that capacity by 2015. It’s much the same story with China and solar power. China is putting all those honor students—backed by heavy government subsidies—to good use.

We're now accepting applications for the POWER UTILITY TECHNICIAN Program!

We're now taking applications for our new two-year Power Utility Technician degree program! This program, which will launch in October, will help fill a need in the power utility sector as a growing number of power utility technicians are retiring from the field and highly trained employees are in demand. Ecotech has responded to this need by creating a practical program focused on the ever-changing power utility industry.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Actually, if coal were the subject of AC/DC’s song, it could be titled “Dirty Deeds Done Cheaper Than Dirt” because, thanks to American taxpayers’ subsidizing of coal, the U.S. government recently sold 721 million tons of coal for literally cheaper than dirt.

Solar Business Issues: Solar Power Jobs and the future

Ecotech Institute grads start cool green careers

I’ve been doing a great deal of thinking about the future lately. I’m in good company; our inaugural class of Ecotech Institute students just graduated with associate degrees in programs such as Solar Energy Technology and Wind Energy Technology. These visionaries are not only full of hopes and dreams about the future, they are getting actual job offers from cool places to work like Hawaii, Colorado and Texas.

Continue reading at Solar Power World!

The True Cost of Oil

“Crude oil output reaches an undulating plateau of around 68-69 mb/d*, by 2020, but never regains its all-time peak of 70mb/d reached in 2006.” ~International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2010, November 2010

In case you missed it, the quote above was the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s admission that the world probably hit “peak oil” in 2006. It is helpful to remember that the IEA is not known as an alarmist or progressive-green agency; quite the opposite, in fact. So when the IEA admitted not only that we have hit peak oil, but also that our present use of fossil fuels has us on-track for catastrophic 11°F global warming, many of us were taken aback.

*Million barrels per day

 

What Does a “Manager – Environmental Operations” Do, Anyway?

It occurs to me that I haven’t introduced myself properly. I am Education Corporation of America’s (ECA) Manager – Environmental Operations, based at our corporate office in Birmingham, Alabama. But what does that job title mean? What are environmental operations, and just how does one go about managing them? I believe the tale of how my position was created will help answer all of these questions.

A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years?

Begin with the end in mind, advised leadership guru Stephen Covey. So I am opening this article with the closing words of the book I am reading, 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years by Jorgen Randers. Who could disagree with this end? “Together we could create a much better world.”

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