A new study from Synapse Energy Economics finds that the Clean Energy Opportunity Act (HB 167) introduced by Kentucky Representative Mary Lou Marzian could create over 28,000 jobs (net) in the state over 10 years. Not only that, it’s also projected to keep electric bills lower. Furthermore, it would likely increase Kentucky’s gross state product by $1.5 billion by 2022.
“This study confirms that legislation to diversify our electricity portfolio would be economically beneficial to Kentucky,” said Justin Maxson, President of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). “The bill would allow the state to hedge against increasing rates by making homes and businesses more energy efficient. And it would spur the creation of clean energy jobs installing renewable energy projects and making energy efficiency upgrades.”
Electricity Prices Will Rise
As should be clear to everyone in the U.S. (but probably isn’t), electricity prices are going to rise across the country in the coming years. We’ve got a large fleet of old power plants and aging grid infrastructure. No matter what you replace this with, electricity prices are going to go up. The best options to keep electricity prices as low as possible, however, are clean energy options such as wind, solar, and geothermal.
“The era of cheap energy is coming to an end,” said Maxson, “and it is really a question of whether we in Kentucky take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the clean energy economy of the future.”
Electricity prices could be 8-10% lower than without the Clean Energy Authority Act, the study finds.
What Would the Clean Energy Opportunity Act Do?
The Clean Energy Opportunity Act would put a Renewable and Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) into place. The REPS “would require utilities to get 12.5 percent of their electricity from renewable energy and achieve 10.25 percent cumulative savings from energy efficiency efforts by 2022,” a news release on the new study reports.
“The study’s findings are supported by what neighboring states that have passed similar legislation have experienced. North Carolina has seen tremendous growth in the number of clean energy firms operating in their state since passing an REPS in 2007. Ohio built on the strengths of its traditional manufacturing sector to start building clean energy equipment in state, and reap real economic benefits from their 2008 law.”
The full report can be read here: Potential Impacts of a Renewable and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard in Kentucky.
Kentucky flag via shutterstock