Anthony Prisco, head of renewable energy practice at personnel firm Aerotek, said a standard solar project would employ about 250 people for just under a year. About a third of the workers Earn $ 30 an hour or more; The other two-thirds are less skilled and earn less than $ 20 hourly.
In contrast, a gas-fired power plant typically takes two to three years to build and employs hundreds of skilled unionized craftsmen – electricians, pipe fitters, and boilermakers – who earn $ 75,000 a year or more, including benefits.
“When you talk about the transition to the new green economy, the first question must be how will people take a horizontal economic move,” said Sean McGarvey, president of North American construction unions, in an interview last month. “I can tell you that in the onshore wind and solar industry, in some cases, my members have a 75 percent wage cut and they lose benefits.”
Jim Harrison, the director of renewable energy for the Utility Workers Union of America, said it typically takes hundreds of workers to run and maintain a nuclear or coal-fired power plant, several dozen in a gas plant – and about a dozen in one Wind farm. Solar fields can often be operated without a single employee on site.
Mr. Biden has recognized that his plans could leave some 130,000 oil, gas and coal workers without a living. It included a $ 16 billion program to help fossil fuel workers transition to new jobs, such as building jobs.
While the fossil fuel industry generally supports plugging abandoned wells, it claims that Mr Biden overstates job opportunities.
“It’s something that oil and gas workers could do. They are already experts at it and it would be union jobs, ”said Frank Maisano, partner at Bracewell, LLP, which represents oil and gas companies. “But there are many oil and gas workers and there aren’t enough of those wells.