A new study from the Solar Energy Industries Association provides a unique twist on the usual analysis. This time they are effectively saying that a lack of regulations (or a relaxation of regulations) will lead to job losses.
This article raises a number of interesting questions. First, are green jobs really "quality jobs"? If there were no regulations would a number of jobs not have been lost in the first place?
Clearly the "SEIA" have a strong interest in arriving at these results.
New Study: Delay in Extending Renewable Energy Incentives Risks Loss of Over 116,000 American Jobs [SEIA]
A new economic study by Navigant Consulting finds that over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress, according to preliminary results released today by the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The study finds that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry. The states that could lose the most jobs include: Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California. The lion's share of these states would lose more than 1,000 jobs.
"This study confirms the huge economic stimulative impact of extending the tax credits for renewable energy," commented Gregory Wetstone, Senior Director for Public and Government Affairs of the American Wind Energy Association. "At risk are many thousands of construction jobs, operations and maintenance jobs, and a major shot in the arm for the ailing U.S. manufacturing sector. Shuttered facilities that once provided steel, railcars, trucks, submarines, and household appliances are now being converted to manufacture renewable energy components. Today, however, investors are holding back because of Congress' delay in extending renewable energy tax credits, undermining one of the brightest and fasting growing areas of the American economy."
"Solar energy is an economic engine that creates high-quality jobs and attracts commercial investment," said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association. "If the investment tax credit is not renewed in early 2008, it will disrupt this high-growth sector, impact tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, and undermine advances in clean energy production."
The Navigant study is released just as the U.S. Department of Labor reports an economy-wide job loss for the first time since 2003. Some 17,000 pink slips were issued in January, with construction and factory workers especially hard hit, according to DOL.
The strong growth in the renewable energy industries combated some of this loss by creating thousands of jobs, particularly where they are needed most, in construction and manufacturing: in 2007 alone, wind turbine installations employed approximately 8,000 people in construction, and at least 14 new manufacturing facilities have been opened or announced across the nation to make wind turbines and wind turbine components.