The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and Management Information Services, Inc (MISI), an economic research firm based in Washington D.C., recently released a report on the renewable energy and energy efficiency or RE&EE industries in the US and Colorado. For 2007, the latest year compiled statistics were available, the report found that the U.S renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) industries generated $1,045 billion in sales and created over 9 million jobs. The U.S. RE&EE revenues represent substantially more than the combined 2007 sales of the three largest U.S. corporations — Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, and GM ($905 billion).
Under the most optimistic scenario, representing the upper limit of what is technologically and economically feasible, the report forecast that by 2030, the RE&EE sector could generate about 37 million jobs and $4,294 billion in annual revenue by 2030. This compares to a baseline (or business as usual) scenario, which assumes no major change in policy or initiatives and forecasts 16 million jobs and $1,966 billion in revenue in the U.S. by 2030.
In order to achieve and sustain continued growth in this sector the report focused on several key steps that need to be focused on. They include a national renewable portfolio standard, long-term extension of the production tax credit, effective net metering policies, and improved access to electric transmission infrastructure.
A few of the key findings from this report:
• Hot job growth areas in the RE&EE industries include electricians, mechanical engineers, welders, metal workers, construction managers, accountants, analysts, environmental scientists, and chemists.
• Renewable energy and energy efficiency can create millions of well-paying jobs, many of which are not subject to foreign outsourcing.
• The renewable energy industry grew more than three times as fast as the U.S. economy in 2007
The research reported here demonstrates how vital the RE&EE industries already are to the overall US economy. It is path-breaking in several other respects. It is the first time that the RE&EE industries have been rigorously specified and actual, comparable sales and employment data derived for two years – 2006 and 2007. The RE&EE industries have been disaggregated in detail by technology, sector, sub-industry, and jobs – total jobs and jobs by occupation and skill. And these data have been forecast to 2030 on the basis of different scenarios relating to alternative government policies and incentives.
© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.