The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) hired Navigant Consulting to do a study about the impacts that a non-renewal of renewable energy tax credits by the U.S. Congress would have. Here's what they found: Over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year. Approximately 76,000 jobs are at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 in the solar industry. The states that could lose the most jobs include: Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California. The lion's share of these states would lose more than 1,000 jobs. Here's a quote by Gregory Wetstone, Senior Director for Public and Government Affairs of the American Wind Energy Association:
This study confirms the huge economic stimulative impact of extending the tax credits for renewable energy. At risk are many thousands of construction jobs, operations and maintenance jobs, and a major shot in the arm for the ailing U.S. manufacturing sector. Shuttered facilities that once provided steel, railcars, trucks, submarines, and household appliances are now being converted to manufacture renewable energy components. Today, however, investors are holding back because of Congress's delay in extending renewable energy tax credits, undermining one of the brightest and fasting growing areas of the American economy.
We've said it often and we'll say it again, green technologies are an engine of economic growth, and unlike others, this one is sustainable and helps make the world a better place for the long-term.
There are many reasons to be against subsidies in general (more on this in a future post), but for now, as long as there is no plans to level the playing field by removing subsidies to fossil fuel industries, tax credits for renewable energy make some sense. If you live in the U.S., it is important to let your elected representatives know what you think.
See also: ::Video: Past, Present and Future of the Solar Industry, ::Best Solar-Power Commercial Ever?, ::Windy Payback Time: Wind Turbines and their Life Cycle Impacts, ::Wind Energy Could Power All of Britain's Homes by 2020,