Renewable Energy Will Help Economy to Recover

Study shows tremendous economic activity will be brought about by renewable energy.

Published on: Oct 20, 2008

A national study undertaken by the University of Tennessee Department of Agricultural Economics shows that if America's farms, ranches and forestlands can meet 25% of the nation's energy needs with renewable resources an estimated $700 billion in new, annual economic activity would be generated, and 4 million to 5 million new jobs would be created.

"Through the creation of a 25x'25 energy future, we can stimulate the economy and put hundreds of thousands of Americans back to work," says Read Smith, co-chairman of the National 25x'25 Steering Committee. "Let's not bury our heads in the sand during these very challenging times. We have solutions that we can bring to the economic recovery table."

Many analysts and government leaders say that now is the best opportunity to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives that can drive and maintain economic recovery. The National 25x'25 Alliance has been a proponent for quit some time that a renewable energy and energy efficient future would not only enhance our national security and improve the environment but would provide a boost to the economy.

The Tennessee study, commissioned by 25x'25, is said by its authors to be one scenario among many in meeting the 25x'25 vision. And while the analysis includes forest waste from hazard-reduction programs and mill residue, there are numerous resources that are not taken into account suggesting the economic benefits of a 25x'25 future could be even greater.

Another strong indicator of renewable energy development's potential to strengthen the economy comes from the Department of Energy, which looked at just wind energy and concluded that it is capable of becoming a major contributor to America's electricity supply and economy over the next three decades. The DOE says that achieving a 20% wind contribution to the U.S. electricity supply would increase annual revenues to local communities to more than $1.5 billion by 2030 and support roughly 500,000 jobs in the United States