The Perryman Group has released an economic study showing the wind energy industry is currently responsible for nearly 10,000 jobs in Texas. The report also estimates the building of new transmission lines under the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) proposal approved by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) will lead to $30.6 billion in economic output and 41,181 jobs.
‘This report answers any questions related to the impact the wind industry has on jobs in Texas, which is substantial,’ says Paul Sadler, executive director of The Wind Coalition. ‘Nearly 10,000 Texans have jobs in wind, whether in manufacturing, headquarters, construction or maintenance and support. Wind energy is big business in Texas, and under CREZ, its growth will be equivalent to the economic impact of air transportation on the low end and the computer and electronic sector on the high end.’
Of the nearly 10,000 jobs in Texas tied to wind energy, Perryman estimates 3,876 are permanent jobs within the industry.
When jobs tied to construction, royalties and other indirect impacts are considered, the wind industry produces roughly one job per megawatt. CREZ alone is estimated to expanded business activity in Texas by $30.6 billion and create 383,972 person-years of employment. This economic activity leads to notable incremental tax receipts over the development period, according to the study.
In addition, the construction and development of CREZ would generate tax receipts to state and local governments. The incremental revenue to the state is over $1.6 billion, and local government will see a revenue increase of $329 million, the study says.
‘Under CREZ, enough wind will be added to the electric grid to put downward pressure on wholesale power costs,’ says Sadler. ‘This is good for ratepayers, especially when fossil-fuel prices begin to creep up again.’
Many states and nations are looking at Texas as a model for relieving transmission congestion due to CREZ, which allowed various public and private entities to bid on the construction of dozens of transmission segments. Once CREZ is built out, the Perryman Group estimates it will conserve 17 billion gallons of water while reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by as much as 16%.
The economic impact of wind energy is not limited to West Texas and the Texas Coast. The Perryman Group estimates that more than 200 counties will receive economic benefits from the CREZ build-out. The wind industry impacts several segments of the Texas economy, including shipping, transportation, manufacturing, the service industry, construction, and maintenance and operations.
SOURCE: The Perryman Group