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Published on February 6th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Clean Power = More Jobs

February 6th, 2010 by  

A new study shows that requiring utility companies to get 25% of their power from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind (by 2025) would result in more jobs.


“A strong renewable electricity standard is crucial to create a stable investment environment and grow this highly promising sector,” says Don Furman, senior vice president for development, transmission, and policy at wind energy company Iberdrola Renewables. “Without a strong RES, the US wind industry will see no net job growth, and will likely lose jobs to overseas competitors.”

Furman’s points here are nothing new. Obama said the same thing very strongly in his State of the Union address and, everyday, I read articles on this matter and on the “clean energy race“.

Nonetheless, this new study puts some numbers into the issue and helps to back up Furman and Obama’s claims. This study found that “the industry would create 274,000 more jobs under a 25 percent renewable power standard than it would create without a mandate.” (emphasis mine)

This is much more than what would be created from the proposed mandate put forth by the House of Representatives as part of a comprehensive climate and energy bill that is now being worked on in the Senate.

Such a standard would add three times more jobs than would be gained under a House approved renewable power target and a similar measure that’s pending in the Senate, the study found.” (emphasis mine)

The House mandate was for 15% of utility companies’ power to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Counter to some lawmakers and citizens’ belief that others may benefit while their state loses (because they don’t have as much wind or solar power), this study found that every single state would actually gain jobs from this renewable energy standard.

Looks like the case is made that clean power will continue to create jobs, but I’m sure the opposition will continue to make the opposite claim. So, hopefully we will see more and more of this type of study.

Related Studies:

1) Yet Another Poll (from Yale) Shows Wide Support for Strong Climate and Energy Policies, Including Cap & Trade

2) “Carbon Tax” More Popular than “Cap-and-Trade” with US Voters

3) Hollywood Getting into the Action [Video]

Image Credit: Bread for the World via flickr under a CC license 

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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