Richmond, Virginia — A new NRDC analysis shows that the Build Back Better Act, as it currently stands, has the potential to significantly accelerate clean energy investment, economic activity, and job growth in Virginia. The Senate’s passage of the Build Back Better Act would bring these climate and economic benefits to states across the country.
“The Build Back Better Act has the potential to significantly accelerate this investment, economic activity, and job growth in Virginia,” said Walton Shepherd, Virginia Policy Director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Already, clean energy is the biggest job creator in our country’s energy sector, employing almost three times as many workers as the fossil fuel industry. The Build Back Better Act offers tax incentives to boost the renewable energy industry, especially in low-income communities, and support a just transition for communities that have relied on fossil fuel revenue and jobs in the past.”
Projected benefits of the Build Back Better Act in Virginia include:
- New carbon-free capacity built: 11,800–17,800 MW, enough to power 2.2 to 2.9 million homes annually. This is a six- to ninefold increase in large-scale wind and solar capacity operating in the Commonwealth today.
- Percentage of in-state generation coming from carbon-free resources: 53–59 percent. Currently, in-state generation from no-carbon resources is 33 percent.
- Additional direct jobs, like those to manufacture, build, and service clean/low-carbon resources: 31,800–35,600.
Access the full NRDC BBB jobs analysis for Virginia here.
The House-passed Build Back Better Act contains more than $150 billion in clean electricity tax incentives as well as more than $25 billion for clean energy loans, grants, research, procurement, and other essential programs. Tax incentives are critical to driving clean energy deployment and reducing the cost of renewables and other clean energy resources.
The tax incentives included in the legislation are flexible and accessible to support all types of developers (small and large, for-profit and not-for-profit) who will usher in the fastest — and most sustained — build-out of renewables in the country’s history. The incorporation of labor standards such as prevailing wage and domestic content requirements on clean energy credits will help increase American manufacturing and ensure that the jobs created are good jobs.
88,370 people worked in Virginia’s clean energy sector in 2020, according to the Clean Jobs America 2021 report from E2. This includes 8,831 in renewable energy, 71,505 in energy efficiency, and 5,452 in clean vehicles. The clean energy sector in Virginia grew 5.8 percent between 2018 and 2020, and the Build Back Better bill could accelerate that growth in the coming years.
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Press release from NRDC.