Opportunities from renewables for the US labour market

If a US law would require that 25% of electricity consumption should be produced from renewable sources by 2025, this would create 274,000 new jobs compared to a scenario without such a mandatory provision. This is the conclusion of "Job Impacts of a National Renewable Electricity Standard", a study conducted by the consulting firm Navigant on behalf of the Renewable Electricity Standard Alliance.

A 25% national RES by 2025 will result in 116,000 more wind power industry related jobs than without a national RES.

The study emphasizes the need for both short and long term targets. For example, if short-term objectives were higher than present ones, the wind energy industry would risk stagnation over the medium-term, while the biomass industry could even collapse.

The RES Alliance therefore recommends that federal laws should set intermediate targets: 12% of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2014 and 20% by 2020.

On the other hand, the renewable industry needs long-term perspectives in order to increase the attractiveness of investments in production facilities. While the current system of incentives – warns the report – doesn’t provide sufficient grounds for stimulus.

Currently, 28 of the 50 US states have set binding renewable targets for themselves. Nevertheless, there is no federal agreement: the target voted by the House of Representatives, for example, was 20% by 2020, while the Senate approved a target of 15% by 2021.

On The Record

“Energy independence will require an all-hands-on-deck effort from America — effort from our scientists and entrepreneurs; from businesses and from every American citizen.”
– President Barack Obama

“American workers must lead this green revolution That is why we are investing these dollars here at home in American jobs and American innovation. By making strategic choices now, we will restore our country’s role as a global leader in the clean energy industry.”
– Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu

“Here is the good news: the bold steps that are needed to solve the climate crisis are exactly the same steps that ought to be taken in order to solve the economic crisis and the energy security crisis.”
– Al Gore

“I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs.”
– President Barack Obama

“I think it would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants, but lights their way with a torch powered by an ocean windfarm.”
– Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Wind power is .. clean, it’s renewable. It’s everything you want. And it’s a stable supply of energy. It’s unbelievable that we have not done more with wind.”
– T.Boone Pickens

"The higher relative prices of energy will create incentives for businesses to create new, energy-saving technologies and for energy consumers to adopt them. The market for alternative fuels is growing rapidly and will help to shift consumption away from petroleum-based fuels.”
– Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

RES Alliance Members Include: AES Wind Generation, American Wind Energy Association, Applied Materials, Biomass Power Association, 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, and Wind Capital Group.