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Energy for Washington's Economy: Economic Development from Energy Efficiency and Wind Power in Washington

Summary

  • Compares the economic impacts of decreasing electricity consumption by 12% (or 1,700 MW) by 2020, as well as installing enough wind turbines to produce 1,700 MW of power by 2020 (or 14% of Washington's power needs), as compared to meeting growing electricity demand with 3,400 MW of natural gas.
  • Finds that relying on energy efficiency and wind energy rather than natural gas would:
    • Create more jobs.
    • Increase landowner revenue.
    • Create a stronger tax base.
    • Use less water.
  • Summarizes Washington's energy industry.
  • Suggests specific policies that would help Washington realize its efficiency and wind potential, including:
    • Energy conservation standards.
    • Renewable energy standards.
    • Moratorium on issuance of fossil fuel-based power plant permits.
    • Tax incentives.

Citation: Energy for Washington's Economy: Economic Development from Energy Efficiency and Wind Power in Washington (PDF 1.2 MB) Download Adobe Acrobat
Author(s): Brad Heavner, Robert Pregulman, Travis Madsen for WashPIRG Foundation
Report Date: June 2003

Project Size: 1,700 MW
Number of Turbines: n/a
Location: WA
Geographic Scope: Washington
Turbine Ownership:
Type of Study: Prospective
Timeframe of Data: through 2020

Model: n/a

Data Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EPRI, Texas Comptroller's Office

Assumptions: Manufacturing: 20% of manufacturing assumed in-state. Construction jobs and income include manufacturing. Construction jobs are the cumulative total for the time period, while operations jobs are the number of jobs in the end year. Landowner revenues: 2.5% of gross revenue from the electricity produced by the wind farm. Contract price: 3 cents/kWh. Average plant lifetime: 30 years. Avergae Washington property tax rate: 1.25%. Future dollar values do not include inflation. Capacity factor: 33% through 2010, 35% through 2015, and 37% thereafter.

Special Considerations: Study considers the economic impacts of decreasing electricity consumption by 12% (or 1,700 MW) by 2020, as well as installing enough wind turbines to produce 1,700 aMW of power by 2020 (or 14% of Washington's power needs). The study also considers an alternative plan to meet growing electricity demand with 3,400 aMW of natural gas. Only the impacts of the wind installations are considered here.

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct 4,050 280 (jobs in 2020) 4,330
Indirect 4,650 320 (jobs in 2020) 4,970
Induced      
Total 8,700 600 (jobs in 2020) 9,300
Jobs/MW 5.12 0.35 (jobs in 2020) 5.47

 

Income Construction Operations Total
Direct $144,112,500 $12,367,600 $156,480,100
Indirect $165,459,000 $14,134,400 $179,593,400
Induced      
Total $309,571,500 $26,502,000 $336,073,500

 

Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Local/State     $371,000,000 through 2020
Income      
Property      
Sales      
Total     $371,000,000 through 2020

Developer Incentives:

Lease Payments: $103,000,000 by 2020 or $11,000,000/year

Other Remuneration:

Conclusion: Energy efficiency and wind power would provide economic development benefits for Washington and would also ensure a reliable and affordable energy supply. Relying on energy efficiency and wind power would create jobs, generate landowner revenue, increase local tax revenues, and save water.