Renewables industries will grow manufacturing, construction and engineering jobs by 2025 with national policy, new study finds
Washington, D.C., February 4, 2010 - The renewable energy industry in Iowa will support thousands of new jobs if the federal government passes a strong national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) this year, according a major new study announced today. A national policy requiring electrical utilities to get 25% of their power from renewable sources by 2025 would drive new jobs in the wind power industry in Iowa, with similar results across the U.S.
The "Job Impacts of a National Renewable Electricity Standard" study, conducted by independent firm Navigant Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: NCI) and released by the RES Alliance for Jobs, found that a 25% by 2025 national RES would result in an additional 8,350 renewable energy jobs in Iowa, part of 274,000 jobs nationwide, compared to continuing without a national policy. This is equal to 59,800 job-years of work for Iowans through 2025.
In addition, the study found that without stronger near-term targets than currently envisioned, Iowa industries like wind power will experience flat job growth and long-term stagnation. The RES Alliance recommends raising near-term RES targets in federal legislation to 12% in 2014 and 20% in 2020.
"This new study supports that, with proper federal policies like a strong RES, the U.S. wind energy industry can create long lasting jobs over the next decade," said Steve Lockard, CEO of TPI Composites, which has a wind blade manufacturing facility in Newton, Iowa. States like Iowa have a great opportunity to revitalize their manufacturing base as a result of this recommended policy."
With a 25% by 2025 RES, Iowa's wind energy industry would support an additional 8,000 jobs annually by 2025.
"If we don't create a stable environment for wind energy investment and turbine manufacturing in the U.S. we are literally giving away jobs to China and India," said Peter Duprey, CEO of Acciona, which has a manufacturing facility in West Branch, Iowa. "The Renewable Electricity Standard is a stabilizer. It's the difference between one shift and three at our West Branch plant. It's the giant step forward that our industry needs for the jobs it promises to create."
China and the EU have national incentives for clean energy production, the report noted, and unless the U.S. creates a strong national policy of its own we will be at a major disadvantage.
"The report analysis clearly shows that an RES of 25 percent by 2025 results in significantly expanded job opportunities in renewable energy," said Lisa Frantzis, Managing Director for Renewable and Distributed Energy at Navigant Consulting, which conducted the study. "Each renewable technology will support jobs in different regions across the country, with the bottom line being a marked increase in job opportunities nationwide."
The RES Alliance / Navigant Consulting study is the first to examine the job impacts in these five industries across states in both the near- and long-term.
More information, including downloadable job growth maps, is available at www.res-alliance.org.