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article imageNew wind and solar projects in U.S. to add 220,000 jobs in 2017

By Karen Graham     Apr 5, 2017 in Business
A new report issued this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) shows how federal tax credit extensions are providing a "growth engine" that will create over 220,000 new jobs, and add nearly $23 billion to the U.S. economy.
The NRDC report, “Engine of Growth: The Extensions of Renewable Energy Tax Credits Will Power Huge Gains in the Clean Energy Economy,” details the benefits the renewable energy industry has gained from state and federal policies, including the federal renewable energy tax credits.
The NRDC, a non-profit environmental organization, specifically targeted 16 states, analyzing the impact of the tax credits on employment and gross domestic product (GDP) gains. The report also looked at the "spillover" effects and how they are adding to economic growth.
Highlights of the report are listed below, all of them very encouraging for the wind and solar industry in 2017:
1. Iowa, already fourth in the country in wind jobs, is likely to see additional job creation driven by the boost in wind growth in the region, and its economy stands to gain more than 3,300 jobs each year in 2017 and 2018.
2. Nevada, home to some of the cheapest solar power in the country, is projected to add more than 1,400 jobs in both 2017 and 2018.
3. Ohio will add more than 10,000 jobs in 2018, and the state’s GDP is expected to get a boost of nearly $1.2 billion that year.
4. Pennsylvania is projected to gain nearly 9,300 jobs each year in 2017 and 2018, and its GDP will get a boost of more than $1 billion per year.
5. In Virginia, the state will gain about 5,000 jobs per year in 2017 and 2018.
The report also is important to the renewable energy industry, especially in light of the Trump administration's upcoming debate around tax reform. In December 2015, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed an omnibus spending bill that included an extension of the expired production tax credit (PTC) for five years.
The extension provided tax credits at its then current level through 2016. The levels begin phasing down at 80 percent of its present value in 2017, 60 percent in 2018 and 40 percent in 2019. However, the tax credits were a great incentive because the policies were predictable to the industry.
Now, there is concern that with the administration's policies on climate change, clean energy and the recent rollback of the Clean Power Plan. It is hard to dispute the facts and figures presented by the NRDC, and 220,000 new U.S. jobs is a great benefit.
More about wind and solar, NRDC report, federal tax credits, growth engine, US economy
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