New study shows RES will create 274,000 jobs By Carl Levesque (AWEA)

The latest such message: according to a study released today from the independent firm Navigant Consulting, Inc., a 25%-by-2025 RES would result in 274,000 more jobs supported by the renewables industry. Moreover, without a national RES, many states will actually lose jobs already supported by renewable energy, according to the study, which was commissioned by the RES Alliance.

Many of the jobs created would be in parts of the country generally not assumed to benefit from renewable standards. Biomass jobs, for example, would double as a result of a 25% RES, with most of the increase concentrated in Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Kentucky.

Echoing what wind power advocates have been saying, the study also found that near- and mid-term targets—such as 12% by 2014 and 20% by 2020—are critical to ensure the U.S.’s competitiveness in the global wind industry.

The competitiveness issue was underlined earlier this week when the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced that China installed the most wind power capacity in 2009, deploying 13,000 MW last year compared to the nearly 10,000 MW that the U.S. installed.

“We invented this industry, and we’re giving it away because we haven’t had a national policy supporting renewables,” said AWEA Board President Don Furman of Iberdrola Renewables, speaking at the news conference called to roll out the Navigant study. China, he said, “is killing us.”

But it’s not too late. Said AWEA CEO Denise Bode regarding the latest GWEC numbers, “It is time to act now on a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) so that America can immediately create manufacturing jobs and be the world wind power leader. The economy can’t wait, job creation can’t wait, and America can’t wait.”

Message received, loud and clear–we hope.

The RES Alliance for Jobs is a coalition of businesses and organizations that support Congressional enactment of a strong federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).

AES Wind Generation –
American Wind Energy Association –
Applied Materials –
Biomass Power Association –
Bloom Energy –
Bluewater Wind –
BP Wind –
Covanta –
E.ON Climate & Renewables –
enXco –
Gamesa Technology Corporation –
General Electric –
Horizon Wind Energy –
Iberdrola Renewables-
Invenergy –
Large-scale Solar Association –
Mesa Power –
National Hydropower Association –
NextEra Energy Resources –
Pattern Energy Group –
Renewable Energy Systems Americas –
REpower USA –
Ridgeline Wind Power –
Solar Energy Industries Association –
Vestas –
Wind Capital Group –

The RES Alliance for Jobs is a coalition of businesses and organizations that support Congressional enactment of a strong federal Renewable Electricity Standard (RES). The Alliance seeks to demonstrate that a strong RES would provide the national commitment to renewable energy that is needed to create certainty in the renewable energy industries, enabling manufacturers to invest billions of dollars in the U.S. economy and create hundreds of thousands of high-quality American jobs.

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are currently considering a national RES as part of energy legislation. As the respective energy bills move through Congress, the RES provision is being watered down. On the campaign trail, President Obama called for a national 25% renewable electricity by 2025 standard. Representative Ed Markey originally introduced the same RES provision to the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Now, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has passed a bill that calls for 20% of U.S. electricity to be met by renewable sources by 2020, allowing 8% of the standard to be met by energy efficiency. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is considering a bill that calls for 15% of U.S. electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020, allowing 4% of the standard to be met by efficiency. To signal a real commitment to renewable energy, and to foster a sound investment environment for the renewable industries in the U.S., Congress needs to pass a strong RES.