Boosting Renewable Energy Deployment Will Bolster Pa.’s Economy

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania could experience a financial windfall over the next 17 years as a result of increased clean energy deployment, according to a new study from Black & Veatch.

The study shows that the expanded advanced energy portfolio standard (AEPS) in Pennsylvania could create over 125,000 new job years of construction and ongoing operation jobs between now and 2026. A job year is defined as 2,080 hours of employment over a single year.

During that same 17-year period, the growing advanced energy industry is projected to add over $25 billion to the commonwealth's economy. These economic impacts are relative to building conventional fossil fuel resources to supply the same amount of energy over the 17-year period.

Black & Veatch studied the potential impacts of increasing the renewable portion of Pennsylvania's AEPS from the current target of 8% to 15% by 2026. The 15% standard includes a 3% requirement for solar energy.

According to the study, direct impacts of the AEPS on consumer electricity prices would be small. The potential increase would only result in an additional electricity cost of less than 1% for customers across the state – equating to a difference of about 50 cents per month for the average residential customer.

However, Black & Veatch notes that the increased supply of electricity generated by alternative energy sources like wind and solar power that use no fuel, would likely place downward pressure on overall electricity prices, which is likely to result in savings for customers.

The study is available on the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Web site or on the Black & Veatch Web site.

SOURCE: Community Foundation for the Alleghenies

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