Renewable Energy Equals More Jobs
The State of California is poised to harness the clean energy and economic development benefits that flow from massive new investments in its abundant renewable energy supplies. California is uniquely blessed with some of the best renewable resources (solar, geothermal, wind, biomass) on the planet. This gives California the opportunity to lead the nation in creation of new green jobs.
Among the primary findings of a new report funded by the Energy Foundation and prepared for the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) are the following:
· If California obtained a third of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020, state manufacturing employment could increase by almost 200,000 jobs.
· Complying with this goal could pump as much as $60 billion into the state’s stagnating economy .
· With the price of natural gas and coal rising dramatically, and the state unemployment rate at its highest level in five years, it is incumbent upon policy makers to recognize renewable sources create more than six times the amount of jobs as development of these fossil fuels. A large portion of the money we currently spend on imported and polluting fossil fuels can be spent instead on creating permanent stable employment for Californians.
To achieve these benefits California's leaders need to make commitments today that will open up investment in generation, transmission and human resources to build a sustainable energy system for the future.
In order to capitalize on this green business opportunity facing California today, we need to fix the current broken electricity procurement process. This report details reforms urgently needed to free up investment in renewables. Tax reforms may be necessary to lure manufacturing jobs to California. And in order to lift up those at the bottom of the economic ladder, laws and regulations need to be carefully crafted, offering training and other targeted assistance to prepare all of California’s citizens for the new energy economy of the future.
Because renewable energy development fosters greater economic benefits than traditional fossil fuel development -- including major employment increases and much needed tax revenue – a renewable energy renaissance that can touch virtually every part of California, as well as the nation.
It is up to California's leaders to get the ball rolling, reasserting California’s historic mission to be the global leader on renewable energy innovation and deployment.
To see this complete report, please go to: www.cleanpower.org.