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Comparing Statewide Economic Impacts of New Generation from Wind, Coal, and Natural Gas in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan

Comparing Statewide Economic Impacts of New Generation from Wind, Coal, and Natural Gas in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan

File: Comparing Statewide Economic Impacts of New Generation from Wind, Coal, and Natural Gas in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan

Date: 5/1/2006

With increasing concerns about energy independence, job outsourcing, and risks of global climate change, it is important for policy makers to understand all impacts from their decisions about energy resources. This paper assesses one aspect of the impacts: direct economic effects. The paper compares impacts to states from equivalent new electrical generation from wind, natural gas, and coal. Economic impacts include materials and labor for construction, operations, maintenance, fuel extraction, and fuel transport, as well as project financing, property tax, and landowner revenues. We examine spending on plant construction during construction years, in addition to all other operational expenditures over a 20-year span. Initial results indicate that adding new wind power can be more economically effective than adding new gas or coal power and that a higher percentage of dollars spent on coal and gas will leave the state. For this report, we interviewed industry representatives and energy experts, in addition to consulting government documents, models, and existing literature. The methodology for this research can be adapted to other contexts for determining economic effects of new power generation in other states and regions.

This information was last updated on August 09, 2011