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Renewables Work: Job Growth from Renewable Energy Development in California

Summary

  • Considers the positive economic impacts of adding 5,900 MW (3,700 of which is assumed to be wind) of renewable energy capacity by 2010, which would allow the state to generate 20% of its electricity from renewables. Compares these impacts to those of an equal amount of natural gas installation.
  • Finds that investing in renewable energy would create four times as many jobs as investing in natural gas.
  • Uses California Energy Commission job creation study to determine specific employment rates for wind, geothermal, solar PV, solar thermal, landfill/digester gas and natural gas, and separates employment rates for the construction and operation phases. Compared projections from CEC study to other job creation studies, as well as real-life experience.
  • Makes policy recommendations to encourage renewable energy, including establishment of tax equity, incentives for development and production, and incentives for consumers.

Citation: Renewables Work: Job Growth from Renewable Energy Development in California (PDF 198 KB) Download Adobe Acrobat
Author(s): Brad Heavner and Susannah Churchill for CALPIRG Charitable Trust
Report Date: June 2002

Project Size: 3,700 MW
Number of Turbines: n/a
Location: CA
Geographic Scope: California
Turbine Ownership: n/a
Type of Study: Prospective
Timeframe of Data: 30 years

Model: Renewable Energy Office of the California Energy Commission input-output model

Data Sources: California Energy Commission

Assumptions: Employment rate: steadily decreasing over the next decade due to increased economies of scale and increasing experience of renewable energy companies (10% per year in construction employment rates and 5% per year in operation/maintenance employment rates).

Special Considerations: The study looks at the economic impacts of adding 5,900 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2010, which would allow the state to generate 20% of its electricity from renewables. 3,700 MW of the 5,900 MW is assumed to be wind. The study compares these impacts to installed the same amount of natural gas; however, only the economic impact of wind power is shown here.

Jobs Construction Operations (jobs/year) Total
Direct      
Indirect      
Induced      
Total 21,574 740 43,774 (over 30 years)
Jobs/MW 5.88 0.2 11.83 (over 30 years)

 

Income Construction Operations Total
Direct      
Indirect      
Induced      
Total      

 

Taxes Direct Indirect Total
Local/State      
Income      
Property      
Sales      
Total      

Developer Incentives:

Lease Payments:

Other Remuneration:

Conclusion: Siginificant employment benefits result from new renewable energy development.