CEOs representing the U.S.' renewable energy industries have announced a major new study showing that a 25% by 2025 national renewable electricity standard (RES) would support hundreds of thousands of new American jobs and prevent a near-term collapse in some industries.
Job growth in the wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-energy and hydropower industries would particularly benefit the southeastern U.S. and manufacturing states, whose senators have questioned the viability of renewable electricity.
The Job Impacts of a National Renewable Electricity Standard study, conducted by independent firm Navigant Consulting Inc. and released by the RES Alliance for Jobs, found that a 25% by 2025 national RES would support an additional 274,000 renewable energy jobs over a no-national-policy option. This total is also significantly higher than the expected jobs supported in the current House and Senate provisions under consideration in Congress, according to the RES Alliance for Jobs.
In addition, the study found that without stronger near-term targets than currently envisioned, industries like wind will experience flat job growth and long-term stagnation, while the U.S. biomass industry could collapse altogether. The RES Alliance recommends raising near-term RES targets in federal legislation to 12% by 2014 and 20% by 2020.
The study emphasizes that while tax credits continue to play a critically important role in preserving the viability of existing facilities, an RES is needed in order to support both near- and long-term investments.
RES Alliance Members include AES Wind Generation, the American Wind Energy Association, Applied Materials, the Biomass Power Association, Bluewater Wind, BP Wind, Covanta, E.ON Climate & Renewables, enXco and Gamesa Technology Corp.
SOURCE: RES Alliance for Jobs