Renewable Energy Industry Leaders: RES = More Jobs By Tom Gray

The big inside-the-Beltway news today is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) statement yesterday that a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) could still be part of a narrowly focused energy bill this year.

AWEA CEO Denise Bode had this reaction: "Today’s statement by Senator Reid that he sees more bipartisan support for a renewable electricity standard is a sure sign energy legislation is still very much in play. A recent Op-Ed by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) and letter signed by labor, leading utilities, renewable energy trade associations, and most of the environmental community shows momentum is building throughout the nation. There is every reason the Senate can pass energy legislation with an RES.”

Beyond the Beltway, where the jobs that flow from an RES will be created, renewable energy industry reactions are coming in. They include a commitment from Lew Hay, CEO of NextEra Energy (the largest renewables developer in the US) to invest an additional $2.5 billion in wind energy and solar PER YEAR if an RES is passed, which “would translate into roughly 40,000 jobs over the next five years.”

Additional reactions below from Anthony Orlando, President and CEO, Covanta Energy (the largest waste-to-energy firm in the US); Tristan Grimbert, CEO, enXco, Inc. (a major U.S. wind developer); and Ted Michaels, President, Energy Recovery Council (leading voice for the waste-to-energy industry).

Lew Hay, CEO, NextEra Energy: "Sen. Reid’s comments are welcome news. An RES is essential to keep the renewables industry growing strong in the United States. With an RES, we estimate that we would invest approximately $1 billion more per year in wind power and $1.5 billion in solar energy. That would translate into roughly 40,000 jobs over the next five years. My message to the Senate is simple: With a national RES, we will invest billions of additional dollars and create tens of thousands of additional jobs. All that is necessary for that to happen is for the Senate to turn the Majority Leader’s words into action."

Anthony Orlando, President and CEO, Covanta Energy: "We applaud the efforts of Majority Leader Reid to work towards a bipartisan effort to pass an RES and allow a mandate for energy efficiency and renewables help us realize the promise of a green economy to create green jobs."

Tristan Grimbert, CEO, enXco, Inc.: "It is imperative for the long-term success of the renewable energy industry that Congress passes a Renewable Electricity Standard. It tells the world the US is committed to renewable energy over the long term and will attract manufacturing investment in the US. Creating a strong internal market for wind turbines, solar and other renewable projects is the best thing we can do right now to see job creation take-off and to affirm America’s industrial leadership."

Ted Michaels, President, Energy Recovery Council: "An RES is a critical component of a successful national strategy to create jobs and promote renewable energy generation. We commend Majority Leader Reid for his efforts to enact a bipartisan RES that will help put America on the path toward a climate-friendly, renewable future."

By Tom Gray,