An independent evaluation shows Wisconsin's clean energy programs through Focus on Energy have added more than 5,000 jobs and more than $1 billion to Wisconsin's economy since the program began in 2001.
The independent evaluation of economic development benefits was completed by PA Consulting Group Inc. and Economic Development Research Group Inc. Wisconsin state law requires the Public Service Commission to contract for periodic independent evaluations of the Focus on Energy programs. This is the second such report evaluating economic development benefits.
‘Because of good government policy and our renewable energy standards, we now have hundreds of companies in Wisconsin creating thousands of jobs in the emerging clean energy sector,’ says Gov. Jim Doyle, D-Wis. ‘By increasing our efforts in these areas, we can make businesses more competitive, add to individuals' disposable income and create jobs here in Wisconsin.’
The evaluation of economic development benefits used program data and economic models to estimate the past, present and future value of Focus on Energy programs. Over the first 10 years, Focus on Energy programs added $1.428 billion cumulatively to Wisconsin's gross state product, according to the evaluation. Today, 5,194 full-time employees work in jobs supported by the programs that would not otherwise exist, including 1,220 jobs in the construction trades and 366 manufacturing jobs.
Manufacturing output is $137 million greater than it otherwise would be, and virtually every sector of the economy has higher employment than it would have had in the absence of the Focus on Energy programs, the evaluation concludes.
The evaluation report also considered the likely economic impacts that will result if Focus on Energy funding is increased to levels proposed in the Clean Energy Jobs Act that is currently being debated in the Wisconsin Legislature. According to the report, investment at that increased level of funding could increase gross state product by more than $2 billion per year and support more than 20,000 jobs.
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Jim Doyle