Guest blog by AWEA's Carl Levesque
A recently released study finds that new renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in Utah could yield significant economic benefits for the state by 2020, including the creation of 7,000 net ongoing jobs, nearly $310 million in net annual earnings, and a $300 million net annual increase in gross domestic product by state (GDPS).
The report, “Building the Clean Energy Economy: A Study on Jobs and Economic Development of Clean Energy in Utah,” analyzes the economic impacts of an energy strategy that includes a 20% electricity reduction through energy efficiency measures and 20% of electricity coming from renewable resources by 2020. The study was requested by Governor Gary Herbert’s (R) energy advisor, Dianne Nielson.
“This study confirms that increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy development will have a net positive impact on Utah’s economy,” said Sarah Wright, executive director of Utah Clean Energy, the nonprofit organization that led the analysis. “Utah has set goals to increase efficiency and renewables over the next ten years; with leadership and determination, Utah can make clean energy an integral part of our economy.”
Utah Clean Energy collaborated with two economic consultant organizations, MRG & Associates and Wikstrom Economic & Planning Consultants, to conduct the economic analysis.