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Energy Technology Revolution

Cover 18 June 2015

Energy Technology Revolution

(Executive Summary Only)

www.Jobenomics.com

By: Chuck Vollmer

18 June 2015

Two global technology revolutions are occurring today— the Energy Technology Revolution (ETR) and the Network Technology Revolution (NTR).   Jobenomics addresses the NTR in a separate document (see http://jobenomicsblog.com/network-technology-revolution/).

The objective of this ETR report is to help decision-makers and opinion-leaders focus on the strategic value of the ETR with emphasis on the economics of business and job creation—the mission of Jobenomics.

This report addresses emerging ETR technologies, processes, systems and markets that can (1) provide affordable clean energy solutions, (2) achieve the climate change goal of limiting greenhouse emissions to a global temperature increase of 2°C over 2005 levels, and (3) improve national economies via implementing highly-scalable business initiatives that will create millions of new middle-class jobs.

Download complete report: Energy Technology Revolution 18 June 2015 (Reduced File Size)

Energy Technology Revolution Executive Summary

No one really knows how big the U.S. energy super-sector is in terms of economic impact and employment.  Jobenomics estimates $1.2 trillion per year and 12 million Americans.  Future U.S. energy employment will be determined by the churn of new businesses replacing old businesses, retrofitting/replacing old equipment, and exports of American goods and services.  The ETR deals with a mix of traditional and emerging technologies, processes and systems that will create tens of millions of new jobs.  Countries that have a national ETR strategy will claim the bulk of these jobs.

  • Germany, China, India and California have aggressive ETR strategies. They are the ones to watch.
  • U.S. energy consumption has largely peaked. However, global energy consumption is forecast to grow 33% by 2030—more than double the total U.S. consumption today.  Export potential is huge.
  • Cumulative global energy investment over the next two decades is projected to be $48 trillion which will not meet the climate change goal of limiting long-term temperature increase to 2° Instead, these investments (if realized) point to a 3.6°C increase.  An additional $18 trillion is needed.
  • Fiscally-driven government incentive programs have value. Politically-driven programs do not.  Only the private sector has the wherewithal to fund the $18 trillion needed to meet the 2°C objective.
  • Combating climate change solely with renewable energy will not work. To achieve climate change goals, a balance of renewables, cleaner fossil fuels, nuclear and energy efficiency is needed.
  • While U.S. renewable energy consumption is projected to grow significantly, it will supply only 9% of total U.S. energy needs in 2030 compared to 7% in 2013. Under current conditions, the U.S. renewable energy mix will not change much from 2013 to 2030: biomass/biofuel’s share was 40% in 2013 and is projected to be 38% in 2030, followed by hydro 28% to 25%, wind 18% to 21%, wood 7% to 3%, municipal waste 5% to 4%, geothermal 2% to 5%, and solar 1% to 3%.
  • A dozen sustainability issues (from hostile electric utilities, to low investor returns, to politicization and over expectations, to competing technologies and storage) challenge successful deployment of renewable technologies. Most challenges can be overcome expeditiously with technology maturation and consensus-building.   However, declining demand and over capacity will be more difficult.  Growth of U.S. electricity demand has slowed in each decade since the 1950s.   In 2017, U.S. electrical generation is projected to enter a 15-year depression that will depress utility-grade electricity generation projects.   This depression is likely to have a major negative impact on the high-flying renewable energy industry.   Reasons include:  (1) many federal and state incentive programs are scheduled to expire or drop-down after December 2016, (2) existing electricity generation sources provide adequate capacity to meet slow electrical demand growth and satisfy renewable requirements under current state standards, and (3) competing technologies, especially natural gas, will claim the majority of new electricity generation additions.
  • There are essentially three energetic architectures: (1) large, centralized, utility-grade designs, (2) medium-size utility-grade and grid-connected distributed generation designs, and (3) small-scale off-grid dispersed generation designs. If the U.S. utility-grade market drops precipitously as forecast, architectures (2) and (3) will offer the best way forward for the American energy industry.  However, the U.S. government cannot account for (3), which will hinder policy and decision making.
  • Net-zero communities could significantly reduce the $2.0 trillion needed by 2030 to modernize and protect the aging U.S. electrical grid that loses as much electrical energy as it delivers.

The U.S. fossil fuel versus renewable energy debate is politicized, acerbic and wrongheaded.  The U.S. is the only country with the disposition and resources to lead the global community against the potential ravages of greenhouse gas emissions.   The United Nations’ goal of limiting global temperature growth to a 2°C increase is highly doubtful without the U.S. fully engaged from a systems-of-systems energy super-sector perspective.   From a Jobenomics perspective, a combination of renewables, cleaner fossil fuels, nuclear, energy efficiency, and other ETR advancements is needed as outlined along the following lines.

  • Solar power is the smallest but fastest growing energy sector in the U.S. and internationally. There are essentially four solar technologies:  solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar power, solar thermal heating and cooling, and solar mobile.  2016 will be a peak year with 3.87GW of added U.S. solar capability.  From 2017 to 2030, solar is projected to add only 1.43GW.  On the other hand, small-scale solar photovoltaics (much of which is not accounted for in government projections) are likely to grow significantly, as the solar industry works out transition issues caused by the introduction of newer technology before older technologies are out of warranty.    Over the last five years, solar photovoltaics (PV) employment has grown by 86% adding 80,000 new workers with an additional 36,000 anticipated in 2015.  Today, out of 150 million U.S. homes and businesses, 600,000 now have gone solar, which leaves 99.6% of U.S. homes and businesses still available for solar energy service companies (ESCOs).  ESCOs are making dispersed solar generation increasingly affordable to individual homeowners and small businesses due to lower installation costs, lower operational costs, smarter information and network technologies, and innovative leasing, subscription and net-metering services.   Large-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) directs heat from the sun via mirrors to generate power.  19 countries have CSP projects that are operational or under development.   The CSP industry should not be viewed as a large jobs producer but an industry that will mature over time. More than 30,000 solar heating and cooling systems (SHC) are being installed annually in the U.S., employing more than 5,000 Americans.  78 million SHC are operational worldwide.  Solar mobile is a phrase that Jobenomics uses for portable and transportable solar applications that have the potential to create new industries (from aerospace to wearables), thousands of new businesses and millions of new jobs.   Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: very poor for concentrated solar, poor for large-scale utility-grade projects, excellent for small-scale residential and commercial PV, excellent for solar mobile, excellent export potential.
  • Onshore wind power generates 177 terawatt-hours today, but has the potential for producing 38,553TWh, enough to electrify America many times over. The total U.S. wind industry currently sustains about 85,000 jobs.  In 2013, the U.S. and China were running neck-and-neck as leading wind power nations.   2015 is projected to be a great year for the U.S. with 10.7GW of new capacity.  However, after 2016, the U.S. onshore wind power market is projected to drop precipitously, entering a 15-year depression, due to declining federal subsidies, ample generation capacity and slow demand growth.  From 2016 to 2030, wind is projected to add only 10.6GW, collectively less than 2015 alone.  As a result, a recent Wall Street publication rated the U.S. wind turbine installation industry as the third fastest dying U.S. industry. In comparison, China plans a 300% capacity increase by 2020 (85% onshore and 15% offshore).  Europe has 66 offshore wind farms operational today. By 2030, the U.S. projects only one.  With the decline in utility-grade projects, “small wind” may the future for the U.S. wind industry.  There are four main market areas for small wind generation: residential, agricultural, government/institutional and industrial/commercial.  In 2013, residential had the largest number of projects (40%) but the smallest amount of capacity (3%),  followed by agriculture (26% projects, 7% capacity), government/institutional (14% projects, 37% capacity) and industrial/commercial (20% projects, 53% capacity).   Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: poor for large-scale utility-grade projects, poor for U.S. offshore projects, good for residential distributed and dispersed generation development projects, excellent export potential.
  • Biomass and biofuels comprise the largest segment of renewables but are likely to decline significantly if the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is repealed as expected after the 2016 elections. Corn-based ethanol is a $30 billion/year industry that is supported largely by federal government RFS mandates.  Non-food-based cellulosic biofuels are not economical without the RFS.  On the other hand, biogas and wood have upside potential.  60% of Sweden’s natural gas vehicles use biogas.  Ideal locations for U.S. biogas plants include 17,000 waste water facilities, 8,000 farms and 1,750 landfills. Wood and mulch are increasingly being used as a heating feedstock, not only for home but for waste-to-energy plants.  12 million U.S. homes use wood biomass for heating. The U.S. is now the largest wood pellet exporter accounting for $500 million in trade.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: poor for biofuels, good for biogas, and good for wood.
  • Hydroelectric is the most proven energy efficient energy source with significant upside potential internationally and domestically for distributed and dispersed power generation. Hydroelectrics include proven hydropower technology (conventional hydro, pumped storage, micro-hydro, run-of-river and high-head/low-head) and developing hydrokinetic ocean technologies (tidal, wave, current, and gradient power). The regular nature of river and tidal currents provides an advantage for hydropower compared to wind and solar.  Since water is 835 times denser than air, hydroelectrics is an untapped, powerful, clean, renewable energy source.  While there is limited potential for large-scale U.S. conventional hydro developments, there is significant U.S. potential for energy efficient upgrades to current facilities, adding power generation capability to a portion of 80,000 U.S. non-powered dams utilizing new low-impact designs and technologies, developing a percentage of the 5,400 identified sites for small hydro plants, and developing a percentage of the 130,000 identified low-head micro-hydropower sites for both power generation and community storage.  Oceans have unmatched hydrokinetic potential via tidal, wave, current, and gradient power.  South Korea’s Incheon Tidal Power Station will be operational in 2017 and is expected to generate 2.4 trillion watt hours of electricity annually—the amount equivalent to 3.5 million barrels of crude oil.   Russia is designing a tidal power plant 10 times bigger than Incheon.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: poor for large-scale domestic projects, excellent for distributed and dispersed applications, excellent for international ocean hydrokinetic joint endeavors.
  • Geothermal has the lowest life-cycle emission of any renewable technology besides hydropower. While initial capital costs are high, overall life-cycle costs are significantly lower than many competing technologies.  Geothermal energy consumption is expected to more than triple in the U.S. by 2030, largely due to the advent of new enhanced geothermal system (EGS) technology.  EGS consists of engineered underground reservoirs that are drilled into hot rock formations to produce energy from geothermal resources that are otherwise not economical due to lack of water and/or permeability.  EGS offers the prospect of geothermal energy across the entire U.S. and a potential 40-fold increase over current geothermal systems.  Due to its small footprint, geothermal facilities can be located in downtown areas of major metropolitan areas where power density (the amount of power that can be generated in a given area) is an issue for other renewable technologies like wind and solar.  As part of Salton Sea Restoration and Renewable Energy Initiative, California has announced plans to promote development of a 1.7GW geothermal facility that will double U.S. nameplate geothermal capacity.  The Salton Sea project is also significant as a potential source of precious metal extraction including lithium, zinc and manganese.  Lithium is used in batteries and crucial to the emerging electric vehicle industry.  Near-term geothermal potential could support 75,000 new U.S. jobs, not including an additional 90,000 construction and manufacturing jobs.  Globally, there are over 700 geothermal projects in 76 countries in development, proving excellent export potential for U.S. geothermal technology.  The geothermal market also includes geothermal heat pumps (GHPs).   GHPs are typically used in off-grid residential and commercial applications and are popular in the green-building movement, net-zero buildings and other forms of high efficiency sustainable building practices that are becoming mainstream concepts for new eco-friendly communities.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: good for all geothermal sectors.
  • Municipal waste is the least understood renewable technology from an energy conservation, emissions mitigation and jobs creation perspective. If the U.S. recycling rate is increased from 33% today to 75% by 2030, 515 million tons of CO2 would be saved—equal to closing 72 coal power plants or taking 50 million cars off the road.  The municipal waste and recycling industry reached an all-time high of 383,300 jobs in 2014.  An additional 2.3 million new American jobs could be created if the U.S. could achieve a 75% recycling rate.   Municipal solid waste recycling converts organic waste into energy and inorganic waste into commodities.  The U.S. has 86 waste-to-energy (WtE) plants.  While there are no new large ($200+ million) waste-to-energy projects on the horizon, there is a burgeoning industry of micro-WtE plants and advanced technology material recovery facilities (MRFs).   Micro-WtE plants use waste to generate on-site electricity and heat for businesses and remote operations (e.g., deployed military units).   MRFs currently make major energy conservation contributions in single stream recycling of discarded paper, plastics, cans and glass.   For example, recycling aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required to make the same can from its virgin bauxite material.  Advanced technology MRFs, already in operation in Europe and recently in China, reclaim valuable raw minerals (plastics), common metals (copper, aluminum, ferrous) and precious metals (gold, platinum, silver) in discarded consumer electronics and appliances.  In 2014, China became the leading urban mining nation by establishing a number of major ($1 billion level) urban mining centers with super-MRFs that reclaim raw materials, metals and minerals from every conceivable type of manufactured item that contains reclaimable raw materials. Urban mining is defined as a process of reclaiming raw materials and metals from products, buildings and waste from towns, cities and metropolitan areas.  The goal of urban mining is to monetize urban waste streams including municipal solid waste, construction and demolition material, electronic waste, and tires and rubber products.   A mid-sized American community typically landfills or exports approximately $30 million dollars’ worth of high-value minerals and metals that could be used to fund local projects and create jobs.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: excellent if a national urban mining initiative is advanced.
  • Nuclear power is projected to grow substantially over the next decade. The U.S. nuclear power industry is the largest in the world, with 100 operating commercial nuclear fission reactors at 62 locations in 31 states, with 99GW capacity that is projected to grow slightly to 102GW by 2030, a 3% increase.   56 countries operate nuclear reactors commercially, in research facilities, or in military applications.  About 80% of global nuclear capacity is in OECD countries, but non-OECD countries are set to account for the bulk of future nuclear growth.  Over 45 countries that currently do not have nuclear power have started nuclear programs or are actively embarking on starting a nuclear power program.  China has 22 operational nuclear power reactors, 26 under construction and hundreds more about to start construction or planned.  By 2030, China’s planned capacity is forecasted to be 150GW—790% increase over the 18GW today. By 2050, China has announced a goal of 400GW— a 2100% increase. China’s nuclear program got a big jump start from American nuclear technology transfer (largely a one-way effort with non-proliferation and climate change caveats) including sale of state-of-the-art reactors, components and materials, as well as next generation technology such as thorium-fuel reactors.    Small modular reactors (ranging from tens to a few hundred megawatts) are gaining traction in Canada, the United States and Russia.   Lockheed Martin, a U.S. defense contractor, claims that they may be able to field a nuclear fusion reactor within a decade.  Their program is called, “Compact Fusion.”  If successful, Compact Fusion would be a ground-breaking ETR advancement.     Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: stable for the domestic U.S. and outstanding if Compact Fusion is successful, excellent for export potential for U.S. nuclear technology and services.
  • Coal supplies approximately one-fifth of total U.S. energy consumption needs. S. coal consumption will increase 8% and world consumption by 34% by 2030.   Over the last five years, U.S. coal exports have increased from 1 billion to 1.4 billion short tons, a 40% increase.  Modern “ultra-supercritical” coal-fired power plants are much cleaner than older dirtier models that represent 75% of the world’s operational plants.  Older plants burn coal more inefficiently at lower temperatures than modern plants that use powdered coal laced with additives that absorb toxic emissions.   Coal and natural gas cogeneration power plants are much cleaner and cheaper to operate.  Another way to make coal cleaner is to gasify it.  Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) systems are being introduced to convert synthetic gas into electrical power.   Another exciting coal-to-gas technology involves underground coal gasification that turns unworked underground coal (in-situ) into an easily extractable gas.  While still in the research phase, producing hydrogen from coal has significant potential. Of the seven technologies that can produce hydrogen, coal gasification with sequestration is forecast to be the dominant method by 2035.  This could be extremely important consideration to the coal industry if hydrogen-powered vehicles and stationary hydrogen fuel cells become commonplace.  Notwithstanding these achievements and opportunities, the U.S. coal outlook is poor due to four factors:  harsh new Administration air quality standards that are being contested at the Supreme Court, low natural gas prices, increasingly competitive renewable energy technologies, and plummeting investor and market confidence—the Dow Jones U.S. Coal Index is down 85% since 2011.  In 2015, the Obama Administration cancelled America’s leading clean air initiative, called FutureGen, and is aggressively pursuing carbon cap-and-trade and emission restrictions targeted at coal-fired power plants.  This is both unfortunate and politically-driven.  Most of the world relies on coal as a primary energy source.  If the U.S. abandons the notion of clean or cleaner coal, the rest of the world may do so, as well.   Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: domestic poor, U.S. coal employment has dropped 60% in the last three decades, exports good, at least in the near-term.
  • Oil and natural gas industry is a booming business that will continue to be outstanding in the foreseeable future with exports replacing decreasing U.S. demand. S. oil production growth in 2014 was the largest in more than 100 years.  U.S. petroleum product exports increased for the 13th consecutive year with 2014 being a record year.  To a large degree, the oil and natural gas boom is due to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that has provided access to large volumes of oil and natural gas that were previously uneconomic to produce from low permeability (tight) shale and sandstone geological formations.   Over the past decade, dry shale gas production has grown from 2.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to 40.6 Bcf/d, a growth rate of 1258%, and tight oil production has grown from 0.4 million barrels per day (bbl/d) to 4.6 million bbl/d, a growth rate of 1129%. The U.S. has approximately 610 trillion cubic feet (40 years’ worth at current production rates) of technically recoverable shale natural gas resources (ranked fourth after China, Argentina and Algeria) and 59 billion barrels (35 years’ worth) of technically recoverable tight oil resources (ranked second after Russia).  In 1990, shale gas provided only 1% of U.S. natural gas production; by 2013 it was over 39%, and by 2040, 53% of America’s natural gas supply will come from shale gas.  According to the American Petroleum Institute, as of 2011, the oil and natural gas industry supported 9.8 million full-time and part-time U.S. jobs and 8% of the U.S. economy.  Due to excess natural gas supplies, new export industries could be created, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas-to-liquid (GTL), and shipbuilding that could potentially employ several million new workers. However, the unconventional oil and gas industry may have an Achilles heel in spite of its overall strength.  This weakness is called “induced seismicity,” also known as man-made earthquakes.   Legal and regulatory challenges against induced seismicity could cripple the unconventional oil and gas industry, especially in communities that advocate anti-fossil fuel policies.  The unconventional oil and gas industry also faces challenges with capitalization due to dropping oil prices.  Despite these challenges, the industry, especially the gas sector, looks bright—perhaps extremely bright if methane hydrate production comes to fruition.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: good for oil (excellent if Congress lifts the crude oil export ban), excellent for natural gas, excellent for liquid natural gas export, poor for U.S produced LNG shipbuilding.
  • Net-zero communities consist of decentralized micro-grids that eliminate or reduce the need for centralized, vulnerable and expensive utility-grade grid energy and services. Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, is the first U.S. net-zero community that produces “100%” of their residential electrical power needs from renewables.  Several dozen other U.S. communities are planning to be net-zero.  A “net-zero building” is a building that produces and consumes equal amounts of energy.  Since there are 132 million residential units versus 5 million commercial/industrial buildings, the residential sector is the likely place to focus on a national net-zero initiative.   132,802,859 U.S. households spend approximately $800 billion/year on energy-related expenditures.   If 5% of these expenditures were allocated to net-zero technologies and services, approximately 800,000 direct middle-class ($50,000/year) jobs could be created.  Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: good in a business-as-usual scenario, outstanding if a national net-zero initiative is created.
  • Alternative fuels and advanced vehicles have the potential to transform and disrupt the transportation sector and national economics. Worldwide, the automotive industry supports over 50 million jobs.  In 2014, the U.S. motor vehicle industry directly employed 1,553,000 Americans, with a total direct/indirect/induced employment of 7,250,000 jobs.    There are six primary alternative fuels (biodiesel, electric, propane, natural gas, hydrogen and ethanol), and six emerging fuels (biobutanol, drop-in biofuels, methanol, P-Series fuels, renewable natural gas and Fischer-Tropsch xTL fuels).  Advanced vehicles include biodiesel vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), all-electric vehicles (EVs), flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs), natural gas vehicles, propane vehicles, and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).  The key to making electric vehicles more marketable involves better batteries.   Advanced battery development is one of the most important technological battlegrounds of the next two decades.  Every advanced economy has a national advanced battery program.  Advanced batteries will boost national economies, perhaps rivaling the economic impact of the personal computer.  Global electric vehicle has gone multi-modal totaling 235 million EV-two-wheelers, 665,000 EV-cars (up from 180,000 in two years) and 46,000 EV-buses.  Hydrogen-powered transportation has truly revolutionary potential as well as a major disruptive effect on the petroleum-based internal combustion engine industry.  Hydrogen fuel cells also have the potential to provide energy efficient and environmentally clean electrical power in stationary and portable power applications.  A major technological breakthrough in alternative fuels and advanced vehicles has huge implications for national economies.    Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: to be determined, a 2nd place finish could result in the loss of millions of jobs. 
  • Energy services are the most stable high-growth sector within the energy super-sector.

Energy efficiency moved from the “hidden fuel” to the “first fuel” exceeding any supply-side fuel.   Energy efficiency employs almost 1 million Americans and is expected to add another 1.3 million by 2030.  Energy efficiency and energy conservation are needed in combination to reduce consumption and emissions.   Energy efficiency means using energy more effectively and is often associated with a technological change.  Energy conservation means using less energy and usually requires a behavioral change.  Without energy conservation, energy efficiency is likely to lead to a “Jevons paradox ” that postulates that resource savings often leads to increased consumption of that resource, which further leads to economic expansion and further energy consumption.  This is especially true in rapidly growing emerging economies.

Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) service models are modelled after cloud computing service models (i.e., Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and will soon emerge as a substantial energy sector industry with the ultimate potential of creating millions of jobs.   It will also enable intelligent and micro-energy applications in tomorrow’s “Internet of Things” world.  When it comes to fruition, the EaaS will function as intelligence middle layer to manage large and complex energy assets in an interactive, integrated and seamless way.  EaaS providers will strategically position (and consequently reposition) their clients within a dynamically changing energy ecosystem, by offering integrated, secure, low-cost, and portable service solutions in both centralized and decentralized energy environments.

Energy assurance involves providing a steady supply of clean affordable fuels without major disruption.  Energy security involves ecosystem protection including people, sources, infrastructure, and information systems.  Due to increasing terrorist, criminal and cyber threats, energy assurance and energy security services are burgeoning markets.  General Keith Alexander (former Director of the US National Security Agency) says “the greatest risk (from terrorists) is a catastrophic attack on the energy infrastructure” including high-tech attacks on refineries, power stations and the electric grid.  The U.S. private security market boomed after 9/11.  Today, there are nearly 2 million full-time security jobs.   Many more are needed, especially for energy security services.  In regard to energy assurance, the crisis in Ukraine has created an energy assurance crisis in Europe which is dependent on Russian natural gas and petroleum.  Blockage of any of the six major maritime oil trade route chokepoints, as well as disruption of 1.5 million miles of U.S. pipelines would have global repercussions.  Energy security and energy assurance businesses and job opportunities depend a lot on international events, crises and conflicts and how proactive governments plan to be.

Disaster preparedness and recovery services expect growth, considering the “catastrophic” consequences of not achieving UNFCC climate change goals and man-made disasters. Each year organizations like the American Red Cross respond to 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the United States.  The world will likely witness more extreme weather events as global temperatures rise.  Superstorm Sandy caused an estimated $50 billion worth of damage resulting in approximately 750,000 insurance claims and a $48 billion federal government recovery effort.  The threat of man-made disasters in the US is also increasing.  9/11 was just a start.  Cyber warfare and biological warfare portend catastrophic-level consequences.   Jobenomics U.S. business and jobs creation outlook: excellent if government and industry are proactive.

  • Exotic and yet unknown technologies Exotic technologies, such as energy harvesting, spray-on solar cells, gravity motors, cold fusion and vortex technologies, are in development. The Department of Energy has started down this path with its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which is modelled after the highly successful Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).   Whether any of these exotic technologies will result in a major energy breakthrough is unknown.  Perhaps the next profound discovery won’t happen in a high-tech laboratory but in a remote third-world village where a highly scalable energy invention is yet to be disseminated worldwide.

This report concludes with two recommendations.  First, U.S. government needs to institute a labor force statistical system dedicated to the energy workforce and an Energy Industry Classification Standard like the one used by investors and the S&P 500. Second, the 2016 Presidential elections offer an ideal opportunity to debate new energy architectures and America’s role in leading the world in the Energy Technology Revolution, not only to clean up our planet, but to enhance national economies via the production of clean fuels and the creation of millions of new businesses and tens of millions of new jobs.

Minority-Owned Businesses

Download PDF Version: Minority-Owned Businesses – 10 Jan 2014

Minority-Owned Businesses

www.Jobenomics.com

By: Chuck Vollmer

10 January 2014

Executive Summary.   Today, there are 6 million minority-owned businesses in the US.  Jobenomics advocates a national goal of 18 million by year 2020—a goal that is achievable and necessary.  Race and ethnicity are important elements of America’s economic equation.  Jobenomics forecasts that income opportunity (see Income Inequality versus Opportunity posting) will become a leading domestic issue as minorities assert their growing demographic, economic and political power.    Racial and ethnic minorities currently constitute 40.8% of the US population, and are responsible for approximately $3 trillion worth of America’s expenditures and consumption for goods and services (see Consumption-Based Economy posting).   This degree of economic power could fuel the creation of millions of minority-owned businesses that would provide income opportunity for millions of Americans.

US Demographic Trends

US Minority Demographic Trends.  Today, minorities comprise about 41% of the US population, but will be in the majority much sooner than most people recognize.   According to the US Census Bureau[1], for the first time in American history, most (50.4%) American children younger than age 1 are now racial and ethnic minorities.  Consequently, America could be a generation away from being a minority-majority nation—perhaps quicker, considering aging baby-boomers and low birth rates in the White-majority.   California (60.3% minorities), Texas (55.2%), New Mexico (59.8%) and Hawaii (77.1%) are already minority-majority states.

 US Demographic Profile

According to 2010 Census data[2], the largest minority group is Hispanics and Latinos (Hispanic) with 50.5 million people, followed by African-Americans (Black) with 38.9 million, Asian-Americans (Asian) with 14.7 million, American and Alaskan Natives with 2.9 million, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders with 0.5 million, and “Some Other Race” with 19.1 million.  An additional 9 million Americans identified themselves as multi-racial from two or more races.  196.8 million Americans identified themselves as non-Hispanic Whites (White)—a 59.2% majority compared to a minority population of 40.8%.

Between 2000 and 2010, the White population grew by 2.3 million or 1.2%.   Asians and Hispanics were the fastest-growing groups by percentage, or 43.3% and 43.0% respectively.   The Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010, accounting for half of total US population growth.   Blacks grew at a rate of 12.3% for a total gain of 4.3 million over the decade.  Asians added 4.4 million during this period.  All other minority groups grew by 6.5 million at a combined rate of 26%. 

Minorities in the US Labor Force.   The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently completed a landmark study[3] regarding US labor force characteristics by race and ethnicity[4].  The three major minority groups that the BLS studied were Black, Hispanic and Asian.   The following charts were created by Jobenomics using data from the BLS study to compare these major US minority groups’ employment and income characteristics to those of Whites.  While important, smaller minority groups (American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islanders, and people who identified themselves as multi-racial or from some other race) are not included in this analysis due to limited numbers (only 2.5% of the US labor force).

The US Civilian Labor Force includes all working-age persons who are employed or unemployed and looking for a job.  In 2011, the US civilian labor force was 153.6 million out of a total population of approximately 309 million.   Whites dominated the US labor force with 67% (103.3 million workers) of all workers, followed by Hispanics with 15% (22.9 million), Blacks with 11% (17.1 million) and Asians with 3% (4.7 million).

As shown in the following series of charts, employment in the five major occupational categories is more equally distributed between races/ethnicities than the 67% manpower advantage would imply.

 Median Weekly Earnings By Occupation

As shown above, the five major occupational categories range from management on top, to service on the bottom in terms of median weekly earnings[5].  Based on these five categories, the three major minority groups fared reasonably well against the White majority as indicated in the following charts.

 Occupational Employment of Men

As a percentage of their group, Asian men (49%) were the most likely to be employed in the top category of “management, professional and related occupations” compared to Whites (35%), Blacks (24%) and Hispanics (16%).  In “sales and office occupations” all four groups were relatively equally represented (17%, 18%, 15% and 17%).  “Natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations” were dominated by Hispanics and Whites.  “Production, transportation and material moving occupations” as well as “service occupations” were led by Blacks and Hispanics over Whites and Asians by 22% versus 14% of their respective work forces.

 Occupational Employment of Women

As a percentage of their group, Asian women (44%) were the most likely to be employed in the top category of “management, professional and related occupations” compared to Whites (42%), Blacks (34%) and Hispanics (25%).  In “sales and office occupations” all four groups were relatively equally represented (26%, 31%, 32% and 32%).  Women were not a major contributor by employment in the “Natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations” category.  “Production, transportation and material moving occupations” were relatively equal amongst all women subgroups with Hispanic women having a slight edge.   “Service occupations” were relatively close amongst all women subgroups with Hispanics (31%) followed by Blacks (28%), Asians (22%) and Whites (20%).

It is important to note that these two Occupation Employment charts are calculated as a percentage of their group, as opposed to a percentage of total employed, which, as discussed earlier, is dominated (67%) by Whites.   For example, Asian-male participation in the “management, professional and related occupations” category is better represented by 49% (percentage of their group) than 5.4% (percentage of the total employed) as reported by other BLS surveys[6].   49% reflects that almost half of all working Asian-males are involved in management and professional occupations—an impressive percentage.  5.4% indicates only a small number of Asians are in management and professional occupations compared to the total working population—an unimpressive percentage—that does not account for the fact that the total number of Asians only represents 1/20th of the US work force.  Consequently, major minority groups are faring much better regarding labor force participation than the media and political activists often portray by using percentage of total employed statistics.

Income and Unemployment Inequities.   While Jobenomics asserts that minority groups fare much better in the US labor force than generally perceived, Jobenomics also acknowledges that there are inequities that need to be fixed, especially in the Hispanic and Black subgroups.

 Median US Household Income

According to the most recent US Census Bureau report[7], US median household income has fallen by 9% since 2007, hurting all Americans regardless of race or ethnicity.  Today, the US Asian community maintains the highest median household income of $65,129, followed by Whites ($55,412), Hispanics ($38,624) and Blacks ($32,229).

 Employment-Population Ratio

Over the decades, income inequality has remained relatively the same between the races, collectively increasing during good times, and collectively decreasing over bad times.  During the good times, income inequality was not a politically-charged issue since increasing household income provided a sense of well-being.  Since year 2000, the US Employment-Population Ratio has decreased 9.4% with the greatest impact on the middle-class.  During the last six years, the precipitous decline in household income significantly impacted the Black and Hispanic communities that were especially hard-hit during the Great Recession, largely due to the mortgage crisis and the erosion of middle-class jobs.  As shown above, over the last three years, the Employment-Population Ratio has flatlined, causing considerable anxiety and discord regarding limited income opportunity.

 Unemployment Rate

Since the Great Recession, unemployment increased for all Americans, but the Black and Hispanic groups were hit the worst, with current unemployment rates[8] at 13.8% for Blacks and 9.6% for Hispanics, compared to 6.8% for Whites and 5.1% for Asians (not shown on chart due to limited historical data).

Youth unemployment is even more egregious, especially for Black youths aged 16 to 19 years old, which is 38.2% compared to 20.5% for Whites[9].

In summary, Jobenomics concludes that, institutionally, minority groups are not having a major issue with participation.  The Asian minority group is doing quite well exceeding White participation in top paying occupations.  While Black and Hispanic groups lag behind Whites in participation, they are not lagging by a great extent.  On the other hand, Blacks and Hispanics are challenged by their concentration in lower labor categories, high unemployment rates and depressed household incomes.

Minority-Owned Businesses.   From a Jobenomics perspective, the primary solution to enhancing minority labor force participation and increasing wealth in minority communities involves minority-owned business creation, which is growing at twice the rate of all US business.  If America exploits this trend, millions of minority-owned businesses could be created providing many millions of jobs.

U.S. Census Bureau performs a Survey of Business Owners twice each decade.  A survey was conducted in 2007 and the results released in 2011—the latest data available.  A survey was conducted in 2012, but the results will not be released until 2015.

Highlights of the 2007 Survey of Business Owners [10] include:

  • In 2007, more than one-fifth (21.3%) of the nation’s 27.1 million firms were minority-owned.
  • In 2007, minority-owned firms numbered 5.8 million, up from 4.0 million in 2002, an increase of 45.5%—more than double the 17.9% increase for all US businesses. Receipts of minority-owned firms increased 55.0% to $1.0 trillion over the five-year period, compared with the 32.9% increase for all businesses nationwide.
  • Of the 5.8 million minority-owned firms, 766,533 had paid employees, an increase of 21.7% from 2002. These firms employed 5.8 million people, a 24.4% increase from 2002, and their payrolls totaled $164.1 billion, an increase of 42.2%. Receipts of minority-owned employer firms totaled $860.5 billion, an increase of 54.3% from 2002.
  • In 2007, minority firms with no paid employees (mainly self-employed businesses and partners of unincorporated businesses) numbered 5.0 million, an increase of 50.0% from 2002. These firms had receipts totaling $164.3 billion, an increase of 58.9%.
  • Black-owned businesses grew to 1.9 million firms in 2007, up 61% from 2002 – the largest increase among all minority-owned companies; and generated $135.6 billion in gross receipts, up 53% from 2002.  Black-owned firms accounted for 7.1% of all US businesses and employed 921,032 persons.
  • The number of Hispanic-owned businesses totaled 2.3 million (8.3% of all US businesses) in 2007, up 44% from 2002. Receipts for Hispanic firms increased 55% to $343.3 billion.
  • Asian-owned firms grew 41% from 2002 to 1.6 million. Asian-owned firms continue to generate the highest annual gross receipts at $510.1 billion in 2007, increasing 56% from 2002.

Jobenomics believes that doubling or tripling minority-owned businesses from 5.8 million to 11.6 million or 17.4 million is very achievable within a decade—if American communities implement viable plans that emphasize highly-scalable small, emerging and self-employed business creation.

Jobenomics Minority-Owned Business Creation Initiatives.   Over the last two years, Jobenomics met with minority leaders in dozens of cities to discuss minority-owned business, wealth creation and meaningful jobs creation.  These cities include Harlem (NY), Washington DC, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Worth, Philadelphia, San Diego, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Greensboro (NC), Wilmington (DE), Roanoke (VA), Chester (PA) and Bridgeport (CT).  What we learned was encouraging—even in the most financially depressed inner-cities.

It was encouraging to find a high degree of entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to create minority-owned business.  However, most government and community leaders have relatively little business experience, especially with start-ups and self-employed businesses.  To compensate for inexperience, they tend to look to Washington or big-business that has not produced any net new jobs in the last several decades.  Jobenomics contends that the most reliable source of guidance resides in innovators and serial-entrepreneurs.  Various governmental small business agencies and associations do an adequate job of counseling and providing grants, but have little expertise in mass-producing highly-scalable small businesses.

The Father of American Education, Horace Mann, stated that “education is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of social machinery.”  While Jobenomics agrees, the educational paradigm in yesteryear was much different than today.  The old paradigm, “get an education to get a job…get a better education to get a better job” simply does not work in today’s high-tech, slow-growth economy where middle-class jobs are increasingly outsourced overseas.  Most citizens in inner-cities need basic skills as opposed to higher education.  If 40% of college graduates have difficulty finding jobs, how can a high school dropout hope to find work?

From a Jobenomics perspective, basic skills include communication, tradecraft and business.  For inner-cities, Jobenomics focuses first on business creation.  Small businesses offer the fastest way out of poverty through employment for the unemployed.  Every city should have a community-based business generator that mass produces highly-scalable businesses.  Our second priority is tradecraft—a skill acquired through experience in a trade—with emphasis on skilled service businesses.  The third area is communications.  In a business sense, communications entails the ability to express and demonstrate one’s value-proposition.

Jobenomics Community-Based Generators (1) identify and train potential business leaders and business owners, (2) implement highly repeatable and scalable businesses with emphasis on service-providing businesses, (3) establish sources of start-up funding, recurring funding and contracts to provide a consistent source of revenue for new businesses, and (4) provide post start-up business support.

Many metropolitan areas have business incubators that are oriented to emerging high-tech and manufacturing businesses.  These incubators are often located in affluent areas or high-tech corridors.  Jobenomics offers a complementary concept that focuses on business generators that are oriented towards trade-level, service-providing businesses in economically-depressed areas.  Rather than incubating innovative business opportunities one-by-one, a business generator mass produces highly-scalable, start-up businesses.  When fully operational, the community-based generator will be capable of creating 1,000 new small businesses per year.

Jobenomics has three fledgling Jobenomics Community-Based Generator projects underway in College Park (Atlanta), Harlem (New York City) and Detroit.  Jobenomics is in the process of establishing networks of local non-profit and educational institutions to identify entrepreneurial talent.  Once identified, the Community-Based Generator will evaluate candidates via self-employment surveys (see initial self-employment survey at www.Jobenomics.com) and counseling to determine their suitability for business ownership and the type of business.

Following the evaluation phase, candidates will undergo a training, certification and implementation process.  Classes will be taught by successful small business owners and entrepreneurs with expertise in startup business implementation.   By the end of the program the clients will have:

  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN), incorporation (S-Corp, C-Corp or Limited Liability Corporation), and the essentials to run a fully functional company (accounting systems, business plans, legal/regulatory, branding/marketing/sales, financing, etc.).
  • A computer supplied with accounting, business planning and website/social networking systems.  Training will also be provided including how to obtain appropriate accounting (e.g., bookkeeping and CPA), information technology, and sales/marketing/ advertising/branding support after graduation from the center.
  • Supplementary business systems (e.g., website, social networking, bank accounts, etc.) that will facilitate the promotion of the new business.
  • Understanding on how to access government grants and investment capital.
  • A network of entrepreneurial organizations and on-going business support.

eCyclingUSA-JobenomicsJobenomics founded eCyclingUSA™ (www.ecyclingUSA.com) as part of its green-jobs initiative and a way to fund community-based business generators in metropolitan areas.  Each month, city managers give away millions of tons of whiteware (e.g., appliances) and other electronic waste (computers and televisions) that contain tens of millions of dollar’s worth of minerals (e.g., copper, aluminum, precious metals) that can be reclaimed, sold on the commodities market or used to develop local industries.  eCyclingUSA technology is in operation in 60 plants across Europe.  eCyclingUSA plans to implement 50 sites across the US and is committed to donating a minimum of 10% of its annual profits (between $1 and $3 million per year per site) to fund Jobenomics Community-Based Business Generators.


[1] US Census Bureau, Most Children Younger Than Age 1 are Minorities, 17 May 2012, http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-90.html

[2] US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs, Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010, March 2011, Table 1.  Population by Hispanic or Latino Origin and by Race for the United States: 2000 and 2010, http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-02.pdf

[3] US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity 2011, Report 1036, published August 2012 and updated 6 June 2013, http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2011.pdf

[4] Note: the BLS reports monthly on White, Black and Asian groups but not Hispanics. Consequently, this 2011 report provides the latest official US government “apples-to-apples” comparisons of all four groups.

[5] BLS, Median weekly earnings by race, ethnicity, and occupation, first quarter 2012, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120419_data.htm

[6] BLS, Household Data Annual Averages, Table 11, Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, Year 2012 (retrieved 12 Sep 2013), http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11.pdf

[7] US Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011, by Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor and Jessica C. Smith, http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p60-243.pdf, issued September 2012

[8] BLS, Unemployment rate by age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, January 2008–February 2013, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130312.htm

[9] BLS, Table A-2 Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age, September 2013, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

[10] US Census Bureau, 2007 Survey of Business Owners, http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo/

Urban Mining

Download PDF Version: Jobenomics Urban Mining 10 July 2013

10 July 2013

One of the Jobenomics strategic initiatives involves urban mining.  Urban mining is defined as a process of reclaiming raw materials from products, buildings and waste from towns, cities and metropolitan areas.  The goal of urban mining is to monetize urban waste streams including construction & demolition material (C&D), municipal solid waste (MSW), electronic waste (appliances, commuters/peripherals, and other electronic items) and tires (car, truck and rubber products).  Every community in America should look to urban mining to (1) recover (waste-to-materials) or convert (waste-to-energy) their waste streams, (2) reduce landfilling and exporting of raw materials, and (3) creating new businesses and jobs.

Urban Mining

The goal of urban mining is to monetize urban waste streams.  These waste streams contain combustible and non-combustible materials.  Combustibles are those items that have caloric value that can be converted to electrical power via waste-to-energy systems.  Non-combustibles, such as items containing metals, can be decomposed to retrieve raw materials via waste-to-materials processes.

Waste-to-Energy.  Jobenomics is working with several waste-to-energy companies to monetize waste streams by converting MSW and C&D material to electrical power.  Waste-to-energy systems can use incineration, pyrolysis, plasma or gasification processes.  Incineration (burning) is oldest and most common process, but is generally considered the dirtiest.   Pyrolysis burns waste material in an oxygen-free environment and produces carbon black, a material used in paints and toner cartridges, oil/tar and synthetic gas.   Pyrolysis is becoming increasingly popular but produces lots of ash and is expensive.   Plasma, which is essentially lightning in a bottle, is the most modern but yet unproven.  Due to plasma’s ultra-high temperatures (2000°C), plasma is ideally suited for eliminating toxic and nuclear waste.  Gasification is in use in 10 countries and is considered to be the cleanest and most cost effective waste-to-energy system that produces synthetic gas from organic materials.

Waste-to-Materials.  Jobenomics calculates that a waste-to-materials program can produce over $30 million worth of annual profits for a small to medium sized city.  Unfortunately, most city managers do not realize that they forego this source of revenue by landfilling or exporting items that contain high value raw materials, such as those contained in electronic waste and scrap tires.

Jobenomics defines electronic waste as IT-related e-waste, whiteware and brownware.

  • IT-Related E-Waste.  IT-related e-waste is the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the US.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines e-waste as computers and assorted peripherals, hardcopy devices (printers, fax machines, etc.), televisions and mobile devices—not including whiteware or brownware.  The latest EPA e-waste report[1] states that, in 2009, 2.37 million tons of IT-related e-waste was ready for end of life management with 5 million tons in storage.  The EPA calculates that 75% went to landfills and 25% was recycled.   Of the amount recycled, EPA estimated that 80% was shipped to foreign countries (mainly China, India and Nigeria) where the extraction process is unregulated and often unsafe. The EPA reports that IT-related e-waste grew by 120% from 1999 to 2009 and will continue to grow at or exceeding this rate with advent of mobile computing devices replacing desktop and laptop computers and flat panel TVs replacing TVs with cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
  • Whiteware.  The EPA also reports[2] that approximately 16 million refrigerators, air conditioners and dehumidifiers are disposed of each year.  In 2009, the EPA[3] estimates 3.7 million tons of major appliances were discarded in the municipal solid waste stream.  These appliances need special handling due to the ozone-depleting refrigerants and foam blowing agents they contain.   In addition to appliances that contain refrigerants, the US disposes an untold amount of other whiteware including 8 million vending machines and tens of millions of stoves, dishwashers, HVAC systems, water heaters, ducting, wiring and light fixtures.  National disasters, like hurricanes and tornados, produce vast stockpiles of whiteware from destroyed homes and businesses.
  • Brownware.  In 2009, the EPA[4] estimates that Municipal Solid Waste streams contained 20.4 million tons of miscellaneous durable goods (consumer electronics such as television sets, videocassette recorders, and personal computers; luggage; sporting equipment, etc.).   The EPA does not report on brownware that includes discarded items like radios, telephones, stereo equipment and components, space heaters, microwave ovens, minor kitchen and home appliances (toasters, mixers, vacuum cleaners, etc.), power and electronic garden tools, lamps and lighting equipment, toner cartridges, CDs/DVDs, and personal electronic devices (such as, hair dryers, headsets, etc.).   Throughout Europe, it is not uncommon to see collection boxes for brownware as the one shown in the picture below.  It is estimated that tens of millions of tons of brownware are routinely discarded in garbage cans and buried in landfills as part of the municipal solid waste stream.

European E-Waste Collection Bin

  • Scrap Tires.  In addition to electronic waste, the USA discards approximately 300 million scrap tires per year.   Primary scrap tire markets include: tire-derived fuel, civil engineering, and ground rubber/rubberized asphalt applications.  In the US, the primary means of disposal of scrap tires is tire-derive fuel due to their high heating value.  The typical selling price for tire-derived fuel is approximately $50/ton.  Pyrolysis of waste tires generates combustible gases, oil, and char products.  Cryogenics processes (in use in Europe) produce fine rubber powders that can sell for as much as $8,000/ton.

America is decades behind Europe in terms of recycling electronic waste (IT-related e-waste, whiteware and brownware).   Germany and France uses technology to sort, process, shred, segregate and sell raw materials generated by the decomposition of electronic waste.  This is not only economically sound but significantly reduces the need for landfilling.  As stated earlier, Americans only recycle about 5% of annually produced e-waste not including whiteware and brownware, or the vast quantities in storage and landfills.  However, America environment concerns are changing and 25 states have moratoriums on placing electronic waste in landfills.  These moratoriums have led to increased exporting as well as domestic recycling.  In addition, the number of US landfills have decreased from 7,924 in 1988 to 1,908 in 2009[1]—a decrease of 76% in two decades.

Regarding exporting, over the last year, Jobenomics has met with dozens of US city managers regarding the disposition of electronic waste, landfill conversion and urban mining.  Virtually all of the city managers (mayors, city councils, solid waste managers) were unaware that they were foregoing such a lucrative source of revenue and were very interested in how Europeans were monetizing their waste streams.   They were also unaware that most of their policies and procedures encouraged exporting electronic waste overseas as opposed to domestic recycling.   For example, many government solid waste managers acknowledge that they work with companies whose sole purpose is to identify high-value electronic waste items (computers, refrigerators) for shipment to China.  These companies would buy high-value items for pennies on the dollar and use the empty 40 foot containers that the Chinese use to ship their exports to the US to export our high-value materials back to China.  The non-high-value items were discarded in local landfills paid by taxpayers.

Regarding domestic recycling, despite the rhetoric, America is in the infancy of recycling compared to Europe.   Of the 3,000+ American recycling companies, the vast majority (99%) use manual processes to strip out the highest value materials, like copper, and discard the remaining materials in landfills.  Jobenomics estimates that less than 100 recycling companies use advanced processes to de-manufacture or shred electronic waste to obtain raw materials.  Most of these companies are niche recyclers that focus on high-value items like cell phones and computer mother boards.  Perhaps the leading US recycler is Electronics Recycling International (ERI) that processes over 80,000 tons annually in seven states with collection facilities in all 50 states.   ERI’s CEO is credited with creating the term “urban mining”.

Jobenomics believes that companies like ERI are essential to processing the tens of millions of tons of US electronic waste that is increasing every year.  Considering the advent of cloud and mobile computing as well as flat panel TVs, this trend will likely continue into the foreseeable future.  Since ERI only processes only 3% of the narrowly defined e-waste market, hundreds more companies like ERI will be needed to process the entirety of the electronics waste stream that is produced annually plus the amount in storage (homes, businesses and warehouses) and landfills (both sequestered above ground and buried beneath).   In order to meet this massive environmental challenge, Jobenomics also endorses the European model of locally owned and operated micro-processing facilities.

Jobenomics visited European electronic waste processing plants in Germany, France and Poland.  As a result of these visits, Jobenomics created a company, called eCyclingUSA (www.eCyclingUSA.com) that is partnered with the leading European manufacturer (CHEMA Environment GmbH, a division of SYSTEC, Germany) of state-of-the-art urban mining systems:  MSW sorters, Single Stream Recycling Systems, Electronic Waste Recycling and Rubber Tire Recycling systems.  SYSTEC currently designs turnkey plants in use in 60 facilities throughout Europe that produce an annual profit of approximately $30 million per year for their respective communities.

eCyclingUSA

There are no comparable US plants that shred IT-related e-waste, whiteware and brownware, and separates the raw materials (copper, aluminum, iron, plastics) in minutes into pellet form.

 EcyclingUSA Process

These pellets/powders are aggregated by raw material type and packaged for sale to commodity buyers. Our processes are accomplished in a closed environment to prevent any leakage, like CFCs, into the environment.

eCyclingUSA signed its first US contract for a 10 ton/hour whiteware, eWaste, whiteware and brownware processing facility in College Park, Georgia, a suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  eCyclingUSA is also in negotiation with five other communities and in discussion with two dozen more communities as shown below. Future eCyclingUSA Site Locations

The Jobenomics/eCyclingUSA goal is to implement 50 to 100 electronic waste facilities in the USA by year 2020.  In addition, eCyclingUSA has a cryogenic process for producing fine rubber products from scrap tires.  Our scrap tire technology will be offered as add-on to the electronic waste facilities.

eCyclingUSA pledges to donate a minimum of 10% of its annual profits to a Jobenomics Business Generator that will mass produce small business in the local community.

In conclusion, every community in America should look to urban mining to (1) recover (waste-to-materials) or convert (waste-to-energy) their waste streams, (2) reduce landfilling and exporting of raw materials, and (3) creating new businesses and jobs.


[1] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Figure ES-5. Number of Landfills in the United States, 1988 – 2009, Page 15, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

 


[1] US Environment Protection Agency, Electronics Waste Management in the United states Through 2009, published May 2011, http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/docs/summarybaselinereport2011.pdf

[2] US Environment Protection Agency, Disposing of Appliances Responsibly, http://www.epa.gov/ozone/partnerships/rad/raddisposal_factsheet.html

[3] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Table 12, Page 72, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

[4] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Table 12, Page 72, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

  • eScrap
  • Scrap Tires.  In addition to electronic waste, the USA discards approximately 300 million scrap tires per year.   Primary scrap tire markets include: tire-derived fuel, civil engineering, and ground rubber/rubberized asphalt applications.  In the US, the primary means of disposal of scrap tires is tire-derive fuel due to their high heating value.  The typical selling price for tire-derived fuel is approximately $50/ton Pyrolysis of waste tires generates combustible gases, oil, and char products.  Cryogenics processes (in use in Europe) produce fine rubber powders that can sell for as much as $8,000/ton.

America is decades behind Europe in terms of recycling electronic waste (eWaste, whiteware and brownware).   Germany and France uses technology to sort, process, shred, segregate and sell raw materials generated by the decomposition of electronic waste.  This is not only economically sound but significantly reduces the need for landfilling.  As stated earlier, Americans only recycle about 5% of annually produced eWaste not including whiteware and brownware, or the vast quantities in storage and landfills.  However, America environment concerns are changing and 25 states have moratoriums on placing electronic waste in landfills.  These moratoriums have led to increased exporting as well as domestic recycling.  In addition, the number of US landfills have decreased from 7,924 in 1988 to 1,908 in 2009[5]—a decrease of 76% in two decades.

Regarding exporting, over the last year, Jobenomics has met with dozens of US city managers regarding the disposition of electronic waste, landfill conversion and urban mining.  Virtually all of the city managers (mayors, city councils, solid waste managers) were unaware that they were foregoing such a lucrative source of revenue and were very interested in how Europeans were monetizing their waste streams.   They were also unaware that most of their policies and procedures encouraged exporting electronic waste overseas as opposed to domestic recycling.   For example, many government solid waste managers acknowledge that they work with companies whose sole purpose is to identify high-value electronic waste items (computers, refrigerators) for shipment to China.  These companies would buy high-value items for pennies on the dollar and use the empty 40 foot containers that the Chinese use to ship their exports to the US to export our high-value materials back to China.  The non-high-value items were discarded in local landfills paid by taxpayers.

Regarding domestic recycling, despite the rhetoric, America is in the infancy of recycling compared to Europe.   Of the 3,000+ American recycling companies, the vast majority (99%) use manual processes to strip out the highest value materials, like copper, and discard the remaining materials in landfills.  Jobenomics estimates that less than 100 recycling companies use advanced processes to de-manufacture or shred electronic waste to obtain raw materials.  Most of these companies are niche recyclers that focus on high-value items like cell phones and computer mother boards.  Perhaps the leading US recycler is Electronics Recycling International (ERI) that processes over 80,000 tons annually in seven states with collection facilities in all 50 states.   ERI’s CEO is credited with creating the term “urban mining”.

Jobenomics believes that companies like ERI are essential to processing the tens of millions of tons of US electronic waste that is increasing every year.  Considering the advent of cloud and mobile computing as well as flat panel TVs, this trend will likely continue into the foreseeable future.  Since ERI only processes only 3% of the narrowly defined eWaste market, hundreds more companies like ERI will be needed to process the entirety of the electronics waste stream (eWaste, whiteware and brownware) that is produced annually plus the amount in storage (homes, businesses and warehouses) and landfills (both sequestered above ground and buried beneath).   In order to meet this massive environmental challenge, Jobenomics also endorses the European model of locally owned and operated micro-processing facilities.

Jobenomics visited European electronic waste processing plants in Germany, France and Poland.  As a result of these visits, Jobenomics created a company, called eCyclingUSA (www.eCyclingUSA.com), that is partnered with the leading European manufacturer (CHEMA Environment GmbH, a division of SYSTEC, Germany) of state-of-the-art urban mining systems:  MSW sorters, Single Stream Recycling Systems, Electronic Waste Recycling and Rubber Tire Recycling systems.  SYSTEC currently designs turnkey plants in use in 60 facilities throughout Europe that produce an annual profit of approximately $30 million per year for their respective communities.

eCyclingUSA

There are no comparable US plants that shred eWaste, whiteware and brownware, and separates the raw materials (copper, aluminum, iron, plastics) in minutes into pellet form.

 Process

These pellets/powders are aggregated by raw material type and packaged for sale to commodity buyers. Our processes are accomplished in a closed environment to prevent any leakage, like CFCs, into the environment.

eCyclingUSA signed its first US contract for a 10 ton/hour whiteware, eWaste, whiteware and brownware processing facility in College Park, Georgia, a suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.  eCyclingUSA is also in negotiation with five other communities and in discussion with two dozen more communities as shown below.

eCyclingUSA Site Locations

The Jobenomics/eCyclingUSA goal is to implement 50 to 100 electronic waste facilities in the USA by year 2020.  In addition, eCyclingUSA has a cryogenic process for producing fine rubber products from scrap tires.  Our scrap tire technology will be offered as add-on to the electronic waste facilities.

eCyclingUSA pledges to donate a minimum of 10% of its annual profits to a Jobenomics Business Generator that will mass produce small business in the local community.

In conclusion, every community in America should look to urban mining to (1) recover (waste-to-materials) or convert (waste-to-energy) their waste streams, (2) reduce landfilling and exporting of raw materials, and (3) creating new businesses and jobs.



[1] US Environment Protection Agency, Electronics Waste Management in the United states Through 2009, published May 2011, http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/ecycling/docs/summarybaselinereport2011.pdf

[2] US Environment Protection Agency, Disposing of Appliances Responsibly, http://www.epa.gov/ozone/partnerships/rad/raddisposal_factsheet.html

[3] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Table 12, Page 72, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

[4] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Table 12, Page 72, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

[5] EPA, Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, 2009 Facts and Figures, Figure ES-5. Number of Landfills in the United States, 1988 – 2009, Page 15, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/msw2009rpt.pdf

Jobenomics Veterans Center(s)

The Jobenomics Veterans Center (JVC) Initiative is designed to help wounded and combat veterans transition to the civilian workforce by providing training and financing to start their own Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) or Veterans Owned Small Business (VOSB) oriented to the skills that the vet learned during his/her tenure in the US Armed Services.

While publicly venerated for patriotism and service, veterans have a much harder time finding work than most citizens. Veteran unemployment rates have been consistently higher than average citizens.   While the job market is slowly improving for most Americans, it’s moving in the opposite direction for Iraq/Afghan vets.  Veterans, aged 18 to 24, have a 30% jobless rate, up from 18% a year earlier. For for black veterans, aged 18 to 24, the unemployment rate is approching 50%.   Returning combat veterans need a “hand-up” more than they need a “hand-out”.  More specifically, they need jobs, which are in short supply in today’s economy.  Combat veterans face even a more difficult challenge after being in austere conditions, many of whom face degrees of post dramatic stress syndrome and other combat related disabilities.  Of the 2.2 million Iraq/Afghan vets, 624,000 (28%) have filed for some sort of disability with the Veterans Administration.

JVC will focus primary on combat veterans (soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines) returning from Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq).  The goal of this training is to help veterans transition into civilian life via a 6-month business training and creation program.  JVC is designed to provide an environment that will address the challenges of a successful transition from combat to civilian life as well as helping the vet start a SDVOSB or VOB.    Successful creation of a SDVOSB or VOB will provide veterans their own company as well as making them more competitive in getting a job at an established company, whether on a full-time (W2) or a part-time (1099) basis.  Having their own company will also build confidence in their ability to function in the civilian workforce and greatly shorten the transition time from combat to workfare.  While accolades from the American public are extremely gratifying, providing meaningful employment opportunities are the highest form of appreciation for their service and sacrifices.

Via the Jobenomics movement, JVC has agreements with leading entrepreneurial, business development, academic, financial and veteran experts and networks.  JVC will use proven professionals, human resources personnel and college and vocational placement specialists to aid in the transition from military to civilian life.  JVC features wellness programs, social events, excursions and motivational speakers. By the end of the 6-month program the vets will have:

  • A thorough knowledge of business practices on how to set up and run a successful small business taught by successful entrepreneurs and leading instructors with expertise in small business creation and implementation.
  • An established SDVOSB or VOB with:
    • An Employer Identification Number (EIN), incorporation (S-Corp, C-Corp or Limited Liability Corporation), and the essentials to run a fully operating company (accounting systems, business plans, legal/regulatory, branding/marketing/sales, financing, etc.).
    • All vets will be supplied a computer with accounting, business planning and website/social networking systems.  Training will be also provided including how to obtain appropriate accounting (e.g., book keeping and CPA), information technology, and sales/marketing/ advertizing/branding support after graduation.
    • All registration/licensing completed in the state and municipality of their choosing.
    • Supplementary business systems (e.g., website, social networking, bank accounts, etc.) that will facilitate the promotion of SDVOSB or VOB growth.
    • Supplementary education while at the JVC, including.
      • Enrollment in an on-line learning course on other on-line universities to pursue continuing education and certification, which will be initiated and taught by qualified instructors while at the Center.
      • Access to micro-business coaching and micro-business financing from private sector sources during and after training at the Center.
      • A JVC certificate of completion from and any supplementary certifications from the academic organizations affiliated with the Center.
      • Potential classes with local accredited academic institutions.
  • Understanding on how to access US government grants, veterans set-aside funding and investment capital (debt and equity financing) from private sources (commercial banks, investment banks, and high net worth individuals/angel investors).  Jobenomics is in the process of setting up micro-business loans for the JVC similar to the $20 million micro-business loan program (loans ranging to $50,000 for qualified new businesses) that was initiated for the Jobenomics-Harlem program.  The Center will also work with municipal, state and the federal government to underwrite the new SDVOSB/VOBs.
  • Low cost business incubation facilities and/or offices at local industrial/business parks.
  • A network of entrepreneurial organizations and an on-going business support network.

The JVC, via the national Jobenomics team of entrepreneurs and faculty, has world-class instructors, small business entrepreneurs and big business leaders.  These instructors, entrepreneurs, business leaders are from prestigious academic, entrepreneurial networks (like the 20 year old CEO Space entrepreneurial network with a world-class faculty and a network of hundreds of thousands of small business leaders across the US) and Fortune 500 executives who are willing to volunteer to help returning combat veterans.  The leading aerospace and defense corporations have expressed an interest in working with the JVC to outsource work to these newly created SDVOSB or VOB.

JVC pilot projects are currently being targeted for locations in Massachusetts, Texas and Nevada.

 

Jobenomics Women-Owned Businesses Initiative

From a Jobenomics perspective, women are the greatest untapped asset in
America.  The women-owned business initiative is paramount in the Jobenomics 20 million new private sector jobs by the year 2020 campaign (20 by 20).

Jobenomics’ emphasis is on women-owned businesses, as opposed to women-in-business.  The US has approximately 18,000 big businesses, 6 million small businesses, and 22 million self-employed businesses.  While there is nothing wrong with women pursuing opportunities in big business, Jobenomics believes that most women will find greater opportunity and satisfaction by creating their own small, self-employed business, tailored to their individual lifestyles. In comparison, today’s highly competitive corporate workspace tends to require employees to conform to corporate culture, which can conflict with other roles women may juggle, such as caring for children or aging parents.

The 2010’s is certain to be the Decade of Women-owned businesses. (1) The Great Recession has encouraged many women to join the workforce, due to necessity or desire, of which many are college educated. (2) Male-dominated industries, like construction and manufacturing, aren’t likely to return to normal until the end of the decade. (3) Social norms are changing, allowing greater participation of women in business. (4) Many of the future service-related jobs, like elder-care, are likely to be dominated by women. (5) Women-owned businesses emphasize small businesses, rather than large, and are more likely to experience growth in the next decade. (6) The traditional “nuclear” families, with a male-head of household, have given way to households headed by women. (7) Most importantly, the rate of employment growth and revenue of women-owned businesses has outpaced the economy and male-dominated businesses for the last three decades.

Today, there are approximately 10 million women-owned businesses that employ 23 million direct and indirect employees, or 22% of the US private sector civilian workforce.  9 million women-owned firms are self-employed businesses without employees.  If each women-owned business hires one additional person this decade, 10 million new jobs would be produced.  This would equate to 10 million direct jobs—half the 20 by 20 goal.  The jobenomics effort intends to help create the conditions that will motivate and incentivize growth of women-owned firms.

Jobenomics is working with several leading women’s organizations (Women’s Information Network, Women’s Radio, and California Leading Ladies) to help define women-owned business initiatives in areas like direct-selling, direct-care, cloud computing, and women veterans’ small businesses.  The Jobenomics Community-Based Business Generators will feature a number of programs that will facilitate creation of women-owned businesses.

The Women’s Information Network: http://thewinonline.com

Women’s Radio:  http://www.womensradio.com

California Leading Ladies: http://www.leadingladiesconference.com & www.EventComplete.com