Our study addresses two separate but complementary questions for California in the years and decades ahead: 1) what benefits would the emergence of a major offshore wind power sector create for California workers and communities, and what policies might optimize these impacts; and 2) would offshore wind power be a competitive source of renewable energy in comparison to other clean energy sources?
Robert Collier is a research and policy specialist in the Labor Center’s Green Economy Program, where he conducts research and outreach on workforce issues in the clean energy economy. In particular, his work focuses on planning for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and in creating bridges between labor, environmental, and environmental-justice groups in California and other states. Prior to joining the Labor Center in 2016, he was a consultant to environmental nonprofits and foundations on a variety of issues related to renewable energy and climate policy, and he spent 16 years as a staff reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, covering international news, energy, and climate policy. He is a graduate of Amherst College.
This report analyzes the policy actions needed for offshore wind power to become an important component of California’s energy mix and an economic catalyst. These steps would entail an unusual degree of long-term coordination and commitment by government and industry. Yet such an effort appears to merit serious consideration.
Diversity in California’s Clean Energy Workforce: Access to Jobs for Disadvantaged Workers in Renewable Energy Construction
This report analyzes the degree to which California’s underrepresented and disadvantaged workers have been able to gain access to career-track jobs in the construction of renewable energy power plants.
“Even local governments have played a significant role. For example, in manufacturing and port areas, streets are designed to facilitate the passage of turbine blades and other large parts with street poles that fold flat and with traffic circles that have wide, straight shortcuts through the middle.” That’s a description of wind-freight logistics and infrastructure in Denmark, captured in a report by Robert Collier for the University of California at Berkeley Labor Center.
According to data obtained and analyzed by researchers at UC Berkeley’s Labor Center, the answer is that in recent years, a significant share of good, career-track jobs in the construction of renewable energy power plants in Kern County and statewide have in fact gone to low-income residents and people of color.