Greener Grid, Fewer Jobs

There may be lots of good reasons to develop a “smart grid” for electricity transmission, but as Sunil Sharan explains, job creation is not among them.  Automating functions to increase energy efficiency can be worthwhile, but it will tend reduce the need for labor.  So, for instance, installing smart meters nationwide could produce a few thousand jobs in a relatively short-period of time, but would eliminate thousands more meter-reading jobs.  Other “green” sectors may experience some job growth, but they won’t produce the employment bonanza advocates claim.  Concludes Sharan, “those who take great pains to tout the ‘ job-creation potential’ of the green space might just end up inducing labor pains all around.”

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