Monday, October 6, 2008

60,000 new clean, green jobs??

A new report released this morning by Clean Edge and Climate Solutions lays out a 10-point plan for creating up to 63,000 new jobs by 2025 in Oregon and Washington. The "Carbon-free prosperity" report calls for more state and local programs and incentives to spur growth in five clean-energy sectors, including solar PV manufacturing, green building design services, wind power development, sustainable bioenergy, and smart grid technologies.

One of the most ambitious suggestions in the report is that the states can achieve 78 percent carbon-free electricity production by 2025. To reach that goal, Washington would need to raise its RPS from 20 percent by 2025 to 25 percent. Both states would also raise their targets for energy efficiency and conservation by 50 percent.

Standing in the way of clean sector job growth is the region's limited transmission, lack of academic support, regional planning and venture capital, and low-cost energy that makes renewables less competitive, according to the report.

The report doesn't, however, estimate the cost to taxpayers of implementing its suggestions. Neither does it give a comparison of what a similar investment in other industries would produce in terms of job growth. Some 60,000 jobs over 15 years seems like a lot, but Oregon has lost more than 25,000 jobs over the past year alone.

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