A new study is out on just how many new renewable energy industry jobs could be created in the United States by enacting a national renewable energy standard. The RES Jobs Study, conducted by Navigant Consulting, says that with a 25% renewable energy standard (one quarter of all electricity coming from renewable sources) the US could generate 274,000 additional jobs as compared to not enacting the national standard. Both House and Senate Bills Fall Short of Target
But wait, aren't there already national RESs in both the House and Senate climate bills? Yes, but in both cases they are below the threshold this report says is required to really reap the clean energy jobs benefits.
The House bill mandates 20% renewables by 2020, but 5% of that can come from efficiency improvements and governors can ask for a weaker standard if it looks like they won't be able to meet the Federal requirement. The Senate bill would set the bar lower, only requiring 15% from renewables by the same time period, with a good chunk coming from better efficiency.
To maximize this job growth the report recommends a national RES of 12% by 2014, 20% by 2020, with the full quarter coming in 2025. Just that initial target would generate an additional 67,000 jobs.
All States Gain Jobs With National RES, Without Several Lose
The report goes on to say that with a stronger national RES every region would see job growth (image above), but without one it predicts the US actually losing clean energy jobs in many states (red states in image below lose jobs).
It goes on to point out that the US lags behind both the European Union and China in terms of renewable energy targets. Without stronger policy in this area, the report goes on to say, renewable energy manufacturing jobs will be drawn away to those nations with stronger clean electricity targets.
Read the full report: Jobs Impact of a National Renewable Energy Standard, or the summary: Job Impacts of a 25% by 2025 RES
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