Green infrastructure means a heavier reliance on electricity, but does the US have enough electricians?
The systems that are projected to ease our reliance on fossil fuels and minimize global carbon emissions overwhelmingly do so by using electricity over gas. Solar panels, electric vehicles, and clean energy appliances all depend on electric systems with the capacity to power them.
But while demand for these systems is growing, there is a nationwide shortage of electricians qualified to install and upgrade them. Nearly 1 billion machines—including space and water heaters, clothes dryers, and kitchen appliances—will have to be replaced over the next 25 years with electric alternatives in order to eliminate household CO2 emissions. This will require around 800,000 electricians, but interest among young people in joining the trade is waning.