Advanced Energy Economy has released an economic assessment that found $20 billion in public investments across a range of advanced energy technologies would increase Virginia’s gross state product by nearly $134 billion.
This level of targeted stimulus would attract $49 billion in complementary private investment, save customers $6.4 billion annually, and add 838,000 jobs, measured in job-years, for Virginians.
“Investment in advanced energy technologies can generate a seven-fold return for Virginia,” said Harry Godfrey, executive director of Virginia Advanced Energy Economy. “We know the Commonwealth’s advanced energy workforce is already 93,000 workers strong. A targeted investment in advanced energy technologies would bring substantial value and training opportunities for the local workforce, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Virginians.”
The report, prepared for AEE by Analysis Group, a leading economic consultancy, specifically highlighted more than 838,000 new jobs (measured in job-years) and additional economic benefits, including more than $7.5 billion in added tax revenue to state and local governments and over $6.4 billion in annual consumer savings on electricity and fuel costs.
“We know advanced energy investments stimulate economic activity through both public and private investments, as well as through consumer savings that flow back into the economy,” said Godfrey. “Energy-related stimulus investments can also prime the pump for new projects and substantial private investments in these technologies across Virginia.”
“Smart public investments serve as a catalyst for the kind of rapid change this moment requires as we build a 21st century economy powered by clean energy,” said Devin Welch, CEO of Sun Tribe Solar, a Virginia-based solar energy developer, and member of AEE. “Solar and other clean energy projects produce tangible benefits for our communities. Now is the time for us to seize on the opportunity to deliver a brighter future for all Virginians by creating jobs, attracting private sector funds, and reducing energy costs through advanced energy.”
Across technologies, energy efficiency investments would give the greatest overall boost to the Virginia economy, totaling $87.5 billion in GSP, with the next biggest impact from renewable energy generation (i.e., solar and wind), totaling $21 billion. The report also notes that a greater or lesser level of stimulus investment would result in greater or lesser economic impact, but the modeling shows that advanced energy stimulus investments can generate important, positive economic benefits in Virginia.
“With the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020, the Commonwealth is already on the path to 100 percent clean energy,” said Godfrey. “A targeted stimulus investment would put Virginia on track to lead the southeast in more innovative advanced energy projects, further bolstering local jobs and investment.”