The Dominican Republic ismaking strides in promoting renewable energy as a way to reduce its heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels. As part of our work collaborating with government and private stakeholders to develop low-carbon energy roadmaps for the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries, the Worldwatch Institute is conducting socioeconomic impact assessments for planned and potential renewable energy projects, focusing on solar and wind for the current stage of the analysis. The Dominican Republic has several solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power projects lined up, and the renewable resource potential to significantly expand on these investments. Examining the job creation potential of these renewable energy projects is an important first step toward understanding the full scope of benefits that renewable energy can provide, especially with high levels of unemployment in the Dominican Republic – 14.2 percent in 2010.

Source: osha.gov

A worker installs solar PV rooftop panels.

Despite a rapidly growing economy (7.8 percent GDP growth in 2010), about half of the Dominican population lives below the poverty line. One reason that economic growth has failed to translate fully into widespread socioeconomic benefits is the Dominican Republic’s dependence on fossil fuel imports. The Dominican economy is highly susceptible to oil price shocks, with oil imports accounting for 5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010, down from 9 percent during the global price spike in 2008. Domestic renewable generation can reduce economic vulnerability due to reliance on fossil fuel imports, but can it create enough jobs to tackle the country’s unemployment and improve the standard of living?

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Caribbean renewable energy, Dominican Republic, green jobs, Low-Carbon Energy Roadmap, solar PV, wind power

In a previous post, we discussed the general challenges posed by China’s statistical system. Despite these challenges, the Chinese government has started making a serious effort to establish a credible data infrastructure. Before such a transparent and reliable statistical system becomes fully functional, any research involving Chinese data will not be easy. This is especially the case for new topics like green economy.

Improvement in basic statistics, such as employment data, could help stimulate growth of China's green sectors

This July, Worldwatch will be releasing a new report titled “Green Economy and Green Jobs in China: Current Status and Potentials for 2020,” the first output of a project sponsored by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Given limitations on green economy data, we had to think creatively to come up with reliable estimations. Although the mixture of methodologies we developed can be improved as better data become available, our report represents the most in-depth sector-based study so far on the job creation potential of China’s green economy.

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China, data availability, data reliability, Green Buildings, green economy, green jobs, green sectors, input-output model, renewable energy, solar PV, statistical system, sustainable development, wind power

By Haibing Ma and Jiajing Bi

China is the World's No.1 wind power

As China accelerates its shift to a green economy, it is becoming a frontrunner in the clean energy field. In 2009, the country overtook the United States to become the global leader in clean energy investment, and in 2010 this Chinese investment reached US$54.4 billion, dwarfing the $34 billion from the U.S. With such impressive finance and investment, it’s no wonder that China’s clean energy sector has been growing so rapidly. By the end of 2010, China had installed a total of 44.7 gigawatts (GW) of wind capacity, surpassing the United States to become the world’s biggest wind power market. And China has been the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) producer since 2008, with an annual production capacity of 20 GW at the end of 2010.

Chinese manufacturers of clean energy equipment account for more than half of the global supply. Even more impressive is the pace of growth in renewable energy: as recently as 2005, only about 1 GW of wind power capacity was installed across China, and solar cell production was less than 500 megawatts (MW).

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China, clean energy, Climate Change, emission reduction, green economy, green jobs, manufacturing, renewables, solar, solar PV, sustainable development, wind, wind turbine