The renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries represented more than 9 million jobs and over $1 billion in U.S. revenue in 2007, according to the American Solar Energy Society's Green Collar Jobs report.
According to the report, the renewable energy industry grew three times as fast as the U.S. economy, with the solar thermal, photovoltaic, biodiesel and ethanol sectors leading the way, each with more than 25% annual revenue growth.
Key steps include a national renewable portfolio standard, long-term extension of the production tax credit, effective net-metering policies and improved access to electric transmission infrastructure.
According to the advanced scenario in the report, which represents the upper limit of what is technologically and economically feasible, RE&EE would generate about 37 million jobs and $4.29 billion in annual revenue by 2030, which is one of three forecast scenarios highlighted in this report.
But while there is tremendous opportunity, there is also a real sense of urgency. Every year's delay by policy-makers has a highly disproportionate and negative impact on long-range growth, according to the report. The longer that policy-makers delay in implementing ambitious renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs, the more difficult it will be to achieve the report's goals by 2030.
SOURCE: American Solar Energy Society