New Report Finds More Clean Energy Would Grow CA Economy

wind-powersmThe think tank known as Next 10 is the Voice of Eternal Optimism, when it comes to the economic potential of decarbonization. Its latest report poses the question: “Can California afford clean energy now?” You can probably guess the answer.

The study [PDF], which was funded by Next 10 and authored by UC Berkeley professor David Roland-Holst and a team of researchers from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, concludes that California will face greater economic uncertainty if the state continues on a “business-as-usual” path in terms of energy. A greater investment in clean energy, the report finds, will spur sustained economic growth.

The study analyzes five new energy scenarios including  three different degrees of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS): 20 percent, 33 percent, and 50 percent as well as a 50 percent RPS plus energy efficiency increases of 1.0 and 1.5 percent per year.

According to the Executive Summary [PDF], the study’s most ambitious scenario, 50 percent renewable fuels and a 1.5 percent efficiency increase, could generate 420,000 additional jobs with more than $100 billion in cumulative payrolls over 40 years (2008-2050).   Without the energy efficiency  increases, however, the numbers are much lower. The report finds that a 50 percent RPS alone would create about 60,000 new jobs, whereas 33 percent would create just half that number.

California’s current RPS is intended to increase from 12 to 20 percent by 2010.  Last November, Governor Schwarzenegger set a target for California to have 33 percent of its electricity provided by renewable resources by 2020.

  • Russ


    Interesting report but I have some questions after reading the executive summary:

    • What is a green job? How do we know a green job from just a job?

    • Spain found that for every green job created, two non-green jobs were destroyed.

    • Since the wind is an unreliable steady source of power, where are the back up generators and what fuels those generators?

    • Are the jobs create providing back up power for the unreliable wind power counted in the green job total?

    • Solar is only generated during the day, what covers the night time power requirements? Where is the storage capacity?

    I hope the answers are in the main report.

  • jerryford2009

    the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, concludes that California will face greater economic uncertainty if the state continues on a “business-as-usual” path in terms of energy.

  • Craig Miller

    The full report is available on the Next 10 site at:
    The intermittent nature of wind and solar is the reason why many believe that we’ll continue to need sources for “base load” power, such as the current fossil and nuclear plants provide.
    During a recent visit to Cal ISO (“Mission Control” for the the Grid), we also saw graphs showing that the availability of most wind power throughout the day is almost perfectly inverse to peak demand, so storage solutions are needed.
    Transmission of power from remote solar, wind and geothermal sites is already presenting another challenge to which there are few answers. We’ll address some of these questions in the next Climate Watch/Quest TV special, which takes on the challenge of reinventing the electrical grid. That program is scheduled to premiere on August 25, available both on TV and online.

  • http://Findmypageonfacebook Lydia G Sanchez Bracamonte

    I for one would like to share this information on facebook. I have utilized my page to talk about the things that matter to me and I believe this information is something worth sharing. Would you give me permission to add this information to my facebook?

    Becoming energy efficient is everybody’s business the future of our health and the welfare of our economy is linked to efficiency and economy of valuable resources. For too long this nation has been glutinous in its consumption of world resources. Time to make changes for the survival of the planet.

  • Gretchen Weber

    Hi Lydia,
    Please feel free to share any of this information on Facebook! Also, if you’re interested in posting additional information from the Climate Watch blog, we have a headlines widget that you can embed.

    You can get this widget at Craig Miller’s website:

  • Lawrence Baker

    The Baker Wind Turbine is a major breakthrough in wind energy technology. The super quiet, Low Pressure Turbine is enclosed and 100% bird and people safe which allows the turbine to be installed and operated in close proximity to people. This eliminates the need for long transmission lines because the electricity is consumed close to where the electricity is generated. Model #3 Baker Wind Turbine is mounted on a car trailer and the unit is easily transported. Set-up is easy. The outriggers lift the turbine foundation and stabilize the turbine so that it can rotate 360 degrees. The finders and tires are removed. No tower is needed; all that is necessary is a 6’ by 6’ wind flow. More efficient and powerful than a single dimension propeller driven windmill, this multidimensional wind energy turbine dynamic has never been seen before. Of course, the multidimensional turbine dynamic does not even resemble a single dimension propeller driven windmill. Google Baker Wind Turbine and two videos will appear; the longer video demonstrates the Low Pressure Turbine Dynamic.
    Let me explain to you the basic turnaround in wind energy science and technology demonstrated by the Baker Wind Turbine. You don’t have to be a genius to understand wind energy.
    First, the maximum amount of energy in the wind is directly in front of the wind. This is the basic and simple premise and is easily proved to anyone logically. (Aristotelian logic is the foundation of all science.) While standing in the wind, face the full force of the wind which is directly in front of the wind. Now, form both hands into a cup which represents a ½ round, cupped turbine vane with volume. Now, cross over your hands and form a blade with no volume representing a propeller driven wind mill. Which of the two forms catch more wind and has full thrust from the wind?
    The first part of the equation is solved: The maximum amount of energy in the wind is directly in front of the wind and the best surface form to catch the wind and consequently has more thrust and power is a ½ round aluminum turbine vane with volume.
    The second part of the equation is as logical. Which direction will the maximum wind catch area turbine vane turn? Naturally, the turbine vanes and rotor turn harmoniously in the same direction as the wind is blowing. This eliminates wind noise caused by turbulence. A propeller blade rotates sideways to the wind energy airstream which results in less power produced, noise from propeller turbulence and high stress on bearings and blades creating high maintenance cost. Propellers are so big; birds can’t see them and they have devastated wild bird populations. Check out the out of control wind propeller explosions on You Tube.
    The third part of the equation is that the more cupped wind catch surface area that is directly in front of the wind, the more powerful the turbine. A propeller can only expand in size and power by increasing its’ diameter. The Baker Wind Turbine can not only increase its’ power by increasing its’ diameter but can expand horizontally and add exponentially more wind catch surface area and power.
    The Baker Wind Turbine has 144 cupped turbine vanes that are 3 inches wide (5 ½ inches of surface area). The 3 inch aluminum vanes give us 11 inches of weld at the cupped base. Each turbine vane has 1 1/2 sq. ft. of cupped surface area. This is important because the stress per catch area unit is low as apposed to a large catch area with a high stress attachment to the hub. No one turbine vane pulls by itself but pulls together with the other turbine vanes in a “gang”. This spreading of wind energy over the rotor maximizes the wind catch area and spins the rotor smoothly without vibration. Each turbine hub has 6 turbine vanes that are 6 ft. long. There are 18 hubs (6ft. wide) and there are 18 rows. Each row contains 48 lineal ft. of turbine vanes. At any given moment, the top section contains 108 sq. ft. of cupped wind catch surface area. As each row is assembled, they are progressively stepped which forms a horizontal twist. Twist is torque and torque is horsepower. The more twist, the more horsepower. Dividing the diameter into 18 rows creates massive torque that is visible. For example take a wood screw and hold it sideways and turn it. You will notice that the screw is made up of one helix and 8 or more twists (or flights). The Baker Wind Turbine is Like the Archimedean screw but made up of 6 helixes with 8 twists which torque from right to left six feet. The overall dynamic of the Baker Wind Turbine is germane to High Pressure Turbine Dynamics but adapted to Low Pressure Turbine Dynamics which I am the inventor of and the Baker Wind Turbine is the test prototype. Just as Mr. Parsons steam turbine revolutionized high pressure steam power; The Baker Wind Turbine will revolutionize low pressure wind power.
    The Baker Wind Turbine rotor has a lower surface to weight ratio than a propeller windmill so the rotor and shaft which weigh 660 lbs. begins turning on 1 or 2 miles an hour of wind and will operate smoothly and quietly in a 100 mile and hour wind at an estimated (920 R.P.M). High pressure steam and gas turbines operate at 20,000 to 50,000 R.P.M or higher; so in high winds the low pressure turbine dynamic is just loafing along. The Baker Wind Turbine not only has a wider range of operation but also produces more energy at any given wind speed than a propeller driven wind mill and therefore the new turbine wind energy technology should rightfully outmode the old propeller driven windmill technology. The Baker Wind Turbine, like all major inventions, has a wide range of applications that will change roof top architecture, bridge design, ship design, high speed (forced air) train electric grid locomotives, forced air electric cars, parks and all areas where the wind can be utilized in a natural or forced air environment. The turbine is enclosed so the housing can be easily painted to blind in with the surrounding area.
    The last part of the equation is a little harder to grasp, even some engineers don’t get it straight. Those who defy convention and who can think individually in multidimensional terms get it right away.
    First the single dimension. One assumption in Betz’ Law is that a solid wall is considered 100 % efficient in the wind and a propeller is 50% efficient because half of the wind flows through the propeller which causes the propeller to turn. So, 6 feet by 6 feet swath of airstream at, lets say, 10 pounds pressure per square foot (pounds is air speed and density) would give you 360 pounds of pressure thrust overall. A 50% efficient propeller would have 180 lbs. of thrust available. A three blade propeller with 5 ½ inch wide blades and 6 foot in diameter (9 sq. ft. surface area or 90 lbs thrust) produces but a fraction of one horsepower. The reason for this is a small surface area propeller rotates on a flat plane sideways to the energy source, has little torque, and is of a single dimension.
    The multidimensional Baker Wind Turbine wind in-take is 6 feet high by 6 feet wide by 12 feet deep. The wind travels laterally across the turbine top section 12 feet to the other side which creates rotary power. The turbine rotor vanes are denser close to the center of the hub and wider at the tips and are spaced such that the wind passes through the turbine to the other side. Again, hold up the wood screw. Notice by looking across the top half of the screw that there are air passages to the other side? Remember the Baker Wind Turbine has 6 helixes and 8 twists and the air passages move from right to left six feet? Now, look at the down wind side of the screw and you will notice that the flight is open and fanned out and is not drafted by the spiral? The back side of the turbine spirals leading edge is made up of many turbine vanes and they do not out draft one another. Of course, the leading edge of the opening is constantly changing as the rotor turns. At the apex of the turbine, as observed directly in front of the wind in-feed, the vanes form a continuous wall dimensionally. Because there are dimensional openings between the turbine vanes, and air is highly fluid, the wind powers all nine rows at any given moment from one side to the other. Each row is one dimension under wind power and there are 9 rows. There are 48 lineal feet of 3 inch cupped turbine vanes per row and 108 cupped sq. ft. total under power. If we figure out our total surface area in the top section it would contain 198 sq. ft. of surface area under wind power. At 10 pounds per sq. ft. that would be 1,980 pounds of thrust overall. That is 22 times more than the estimated efficiency of 90 pounds thrust for a single dimension propeller operated in the same 6 foot by 6 foot airstream. The Baker Wind Turbine is even more powerful than just converting speed and density of air into rotary power, the traveling torque creates even more horsepower. My point has already been proven and digging into traveling torque equations at this time is not necessary. So basically that is the breakthrough technology of Baker Low Pressure Turbine Dynamics. Did you get it? Or was it to much for your wee mind? For those who get it, read on. For those who don’t get it; drive down the road at 65 mph. and cup your hand into the wind and let it jerk your arm back and each time ask yourself “where is the power”?
    The reason the modern American Green Energy Economy is not moving forward is because independent scientist and individual inventors, like me, are without funding. The reason there is no funding is because the economic powers that be, the status quo, has snuffed any State or Federal funding programs for independent green energy inventors. Are you surprised? Do you know what scares the hell out of the multinational Big Oil and energy barons? The answer is the advancement of science with new inventions that they can’t control that would outmode the use of fossil fuels for energy. That is the cause of man made Global Warming.
    Logically, one would think that the first government action would be to utilize our national talent by holding a national green energy science contest thereby acting free from Big Oil. I am not the only independent inventor; there would be thousands of applications. The winner would receive a one million dollar reward to further develop the new green energy concept. Ten million a month could finance and develop ten new grass root industries employing thousands in green energy jobs. Out with the old and in with the new, let the best win and the lesser fold or be outmoded by something even better. A vibrant and modern American Main Street Capitalism would grow. Great inventors were individuals not controlled universities; they are the ones who should be funded.
    Lawrence Baker

  • Lawrence Baker

    Americans are known for being resourceful and innovative principally because we were raised in a Democratic- Republic, well educated and enjoy freedom of thought. The American people are our primary asset and yes we can move forward to develop a new and modern green energy economy. First, the U.S government must fund the independent scientist and inventors who bring the new green energy science concepts forward. Currently, independent inventors and individual scientist have no grant funding and are not included in any U.S stimulus funds. They are snuffed from developing green energy concepts by the status quo. Logically, one would think that the first action would be to utilize our national talent by holding a national green energy science contest. The winner would receive a one million dollar reward to further develop the new green energy concept. Ten million a month could finance and develop ten new grass root industries employing thousands in green energy jobs. Out with the old and in with the new, let the best win and the lesser fold or be outmoded by something even better. A vibrant and modern American Main Street Capitalism would grow. Great inventors were individuals not controlled universities, fund them.
    Lawrence Baker