July 15, 2020—A clean energy stimulus can create 860,000 U.S. jobs, and add $330 billion to GDP according to our new report Build Back Better, Faster: How a federal stimulus focusing on clean energy can create millions of jobs and restart America’s economy. The analysis shows how $99.2 billion of federal investment in existing programs can quickly return unemployed clean energy workers to every state and add $66 billion to the nation’s economy every year for five years.
Targeted clean energy investments can support and jumpstart the U.S. economy. The report focuses on existing, funding-approved programs in three specific areas: renewable energy, energy efficiency and grid modernization. A peer-reviewed model used for the analysis of economic benefits was created in collaboration with BW Research Partnership and E2.
The proposed stimulus includes increased funding for state energy programs, tax credit extensions for renewable energy and energy efficiency, port infrastructure enhancements and upgrades to the nation’s electric power grid and communications networks. The results: $330 billion in wages, local, state, and federal tax revenues and other economic benefits — more than triple the amount invested; 33 states would each add more than 10,000 new full-time jobs, and every state and territory except D.C. would gain at least 4,000 jobs.
“Our model shows a major surge in economic and jobs growth based on leveraging,” said Pat Stanton, E4TheFuture policy director. “The pandemic hit energy efficiency employment harder than other sectors, but a federal stimulus can put people back to work using a frictionless, proven approach. And efficiency provides a robust ‘dividend’ on top of the jobs benefits: It will enable people to spend cash on goods and services from energy bill savings due to decreased energy use.”
Energy efficiency, the largest clean energy sector, would see:
- 737,200 direct, indirect, and induced jobs each year for five years as a result of accelerating building energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits.
- $44.1 billion in total earnings or income each year for five years
- $51.3 billion in overall added value to the national economy each year for five years
Renewable energy, the largest employer of electric power generation, would see:
- 50,000 in direct, indirect, and induced jobs per year for five years through the development of solar, wind, and other renewable energy generation projects
- $1 billion in total tax revenues, including $850 million in state and local taxes per year for 5 years
- $7.6 billion in overall added value to the national economy each year for five years
Grid modernization, which was clean energy’s fastest-growing sector before COVID-19 hit, would see:
- 73,100 direct, indirect, and induced jobs each year for five years
- $5.3 billion in total earnings per year for five years
- $7.2 billion in overall added value to the national economy each year for five years
The report comes after the latest monthly analysis of unemployment filings found the clean energy sector — the largest employer of America’s energy workers — is struggling due to the pandemic’s effects, despite a slight recovery in June. More than half a million clean energy workers (514,200) filed for unemployment between March and June.