MGK Editor Take V: Forgive me this Labor Day Soliloquy

Sept. 5, 2023
Reports always vary on numbers, but all I’ve seen indicate that the microgrid, on-site power and energy resiliency fronts will bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the coming decades.

Forgive this Labor Day soliloquy.

For all of its flaws and occasional failures, the American economy, and capitalism in general, have produced incredible outcomes for most of the past two centuries. Many exploitations and excesses have derailed the ever upward trend wrought by open markets, and tremendous innovation and fruits of labor have risen from dry patches.

At its best, the energy sector made much of that progress possible. Electricity begat motors which begat elevators and washing machines. Leave out giant industrialization for a moment: those inventions changed the world for many businesses and families. “Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about,” according to a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The energy transition is still weighted by a tremendous argument in economic circles: Is it the wave of the future or a misdirection fueled by subsidies and false hope? Well, we clearly believe the former. Clean energy technologies are already driving tremendous change in the way we create and conserve energy, allowing us to create a playbook for a sustainable future for ourselves, but more importantly our children and their children.

Microgrids are a big part of the tip of that spear because they incorporate all of the elements of innovation and efficiency and independence – renewable energy, battery storage, the latest and greatest in efficiencies and carbon reduction in power gen-sets, digitalization, sensors, control software.

Reports always vary on numbers, but all I’ve seen indicate that the microgrid, on-site power and energy resiliency fronts will bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the coming decades. Yes, some of that is incentivized, but the sector stands on its own legs with the desire for large-scale projects and mission-critical customers having to pay a reasonable premium for security in energy supply.

So I leave you all with that. The energy transition is a tremendous engine for future job creation. And that’s what free markets are all about. I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and never forget the sacrifices and efforts of those who came before to develop this amazing economy of innovation and growth.

Editor's Note: This introduction came in our most recent Microgrid Knowledge Newsletter. Click here to read more about the Microgrid Revolution and subscribe to our free newsletter. 

About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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