In this Dispatch, PSN will examine clean energy options that contribute to a green economy, including evaluating the great strides that energy supply alternatives have created in the states that have enacted policies that promote them. We will explain how states have established Renewable Portfolio Standards and how these have created the demand for innovative investment, as well as how to promote new sources of renewable energy, including creative financial mechanisms,
multi-state agreements, and the upgrade of an electrical grid that will better transmit energy from these intermittent sources. And for states looking for new job creation strategies, one key fact is that the production, installment and maintenance of renewable energy sources create sustainable jobs.
The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.
An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.
Last month, President Barack Obama signed the $17.5 billion Hiring
Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act into law to assist small
businesses and spur job creation. This was definitely a start, but the
gravity of the current crisis demands much bolder and quicker action.
Congress needs to enact further state fiscal relief to support jobs and
avoid the massive layoffs that threaten social and economic vitality in
With more people worried about job security and the economy, state
policy leaders and several corporations are making the case for
renewable energy legislation as a job creator.
Solar energy creates and retains jobs, including those in the manufacturing industry. Texas business leaders noted in a recent report, Lone Star Power: How Texas Businesses Can Supply the World with Solar Energy,
one of the great advantages of solar plants is the large number of
components that are involved in installing solar power systems.
In the State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama stated, "...jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill."
With the fiscal crisis forcing states to layoff hundreds of thousands
of teachers, nurses and police officers, the need for more federal job
creation and state fiscal relief support is clear. And there is
substantial momentum building around this issue in the states.