April 30, 2012

Green jobs could increase in Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation folks have been debunking the "environmental regs are job killers" myth for quite a while. Click here to see their debunking report.

Now a George Mason University study concludes that renewable power sources such as solar, biomass and wind power would create tens of thousands more jobs than either coal or natural gas. And satisfy Virginia's energy needs through 2035!

Their study, prepared for Virginia Conservation Network (a coalition of environmental groups and proponents of renewable energy sources) was based on the 2010 Virginia Energy Plan. That plan projected a need for an additional 19,448 megawatts of demand over the next 25 years. 

One scenario would create 172,328 jobs and generate a "gross state product" of $20.8 million. That's not small potatoes. But it would cost more than $9 billion.

The second scenario, costing about $6 billion, would create 107,890 jobs and generate $13 billion in gross state product. Nothing to sneeze at either.

Coal would create 43,442 jobs and a gross product valued at $5.3 billion while costing $2.4 billion. Natural gas would create 20,473 jobs and a gross state product of $2.5 billion, while its construction costs would be about $1.13 billion.

However, the study also notes that increased electricity generation from renewables would likely mean more costs to ratepayers because of capital costs. The study did not include the North Anna Nuclear Power station in its equations because additional nuclear reactors would not be up and running by 2035.