Clean Energy, Real Jobs

March 27, 2009

Clean Energy Clean energy creates jobs and fighting climate change will help our economy recover. That is a bold statement, but it is what President Obama is banking on as part of his stimulus package, and it is a sentiment that is now being echoed by the Union Of Concerned Scientists whose new report states that clean energy can create nearly 300,000 jobs by 2025. The report, entitled Clean Power, Green Jobs, outlines the benefits of the American initiative to product 25% of our power with clean energy sources by 2025. The highlights of the report include:

25 Percent by 2025: The Benefits of a National Renewable Electricity Standard

Job Creation 297,000 new jobs from renewable energy development Economic Development $263.4 billion in new capital investment; $13.5 billion in income to farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners; and $11.5 billion in new local tax revenues Consumer Savings $64.3 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills by 2025 (growing to $95.5 billion by 2030) Climate Solutions Two percent reduction in power plant climate change emissions

The benefits to the economy of perusing clean energy and setting goals for where we want to get out energy are great. The jobs created and savings that are gained from a comprehensive clean energy policy are multifaceted and diverse. Not only will this standard create jobs, but it will also reduce harmful emissions that cause health problems (like asthma) and hopefully help temper the effects of climate change and it’s associated impacts. Part of the reason that clean energy can create so many jobs is because it is a new industry that requires a lot of labor. Erecting a wind turbine or installing a solar panel requires scores of people to manufacture, transport and install the structure. In comparison, far fewer man hours are required to operate and maintain coal or natural gas power plants. Another source of savings come from the fact that once the clean energy infrastructure is installed, the fuel (e.g. the wind and sun) for these power generators is essentially free. Though there will be costs associated with maintenance of turbines and solar panels, these cost will be minimal in comparison to the cost of fossil fuel resources. What the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists underscores is that fighting climate change and creating jobs are not mutually exclusive terms — rather, the actions are complimentary. The short and long term benefits of action are great for people and the planet. Fight climate change and create jobs. Support clean energy today!