Not that it's any secret to many of us, but it's great to hear a respected organization like the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) conclude that Renewable Energy Standards are "working effectively all over the country; affordably driving new renewable energy development and delivering substantial economic benefits to states and local communities in the process." To flesh this out a bit, here are a few key points from the UCS' newly released review of state RES policies.
- "The renewable energy industry supports American jobs. More than 119,000 people worked in solar-related industries in 2012, while wind energy development employed 75,000 full-time workers across the U.S., including 30,000 jobs at manufacturing facilities throughout the country."
- "Renewable energy development outperforms fossil fuels in two important ways when it comes to driving job growth: 1) Renewable energy development is relatively labor intensive, so it creates more jobs per dollar invested than fossil fuel resources and 2) Installing renewable energy facilities uses primarily local workers, so investement dollars are kept in local communities."
- "Renewable energy is a good deal for consumers...States with RES policies achieved more than 95 percent compliance with renewable energy requirements through 2010, with little to no impact on electricity rates in almost every state."
- "Increasing renewable energy also helps stabilize electricity rates and provide long-tem savings. Once a wind or solar facility is installed, the 'fuel' is free. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are subject to potenially volatile prices that can lead to significant fluctuations in electricity rates."
Clearly, these are all great reasons to support Renewable Energy Standards at the state and federal levels. Let's just hope that policymakers read this report and follow its recommendations.