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May 18, 2009

AWEA urges US Government to use Renewable Energy Sources for Creating Jobs

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has urged US Congress to strengthen the draft bill related to renewable electricity standard (RES) as there is a need to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in renewable energy sector over the coming decades.
“We are disappointed that the renewable energy target in the bill could be as low as 12 percent by 2020—less than one-half the level proposed by President Obama and Chairman Markey. And, from an employment standpoint, by lowering the standard and limiting additional deployment, well over 100,000 jobs are being left on the cutting room floor,’’ AWEA said in a statement.
The draft bill comes at a time US Government is preparing to invest a huge sum of money as part of its program to create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
AWEA has cited recent surveys to support its argument that US citizens favor renewable energy to reverse greenhouse gas emissions growth and create new domestic manufacturing jobs.
AWEA has cited a national poll conducted by Garin Hart Yang Research Group, which found three-quarters (75 percent) of voters favoring the idea of requiring electric utility companies to generate at least 25 percent of their electricity through renewable energy sources by 2025.
 In United States, wind energy industry contributes directly to the economies of 46 states with power plants and manufacturing facilities, AWEA said.
“In 2008, the wind industry opened, expanded, or announced 55 manufacturing facilities, and generated 35,000 jobs. Overall, today, over 85,000 American jobs in manufacturing, construction, operations and services reflect the wind industry¹s continuing growth,” stated AWEA in a press release.
 AWEA has also quoted the CEO of GE Energy, John Krenicki, who said: “We believe wind and solar energy are likely to be among the largest sources of new manufacturing jobs worldwide during the 21st century.”
Another study, conducted by Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has predicted that renewable energy sector would create 297,000 jobs by 2025.
  “It is clear from numerous polls that Americans across the political spectrum put renewable energy deployment near the top of policy priorities. The voters are right, because wind and other renewable energy technologies are one of very few options to reverse greenhouse gas emissions growth and create new domestic manufacturing jobs,” AWEA said.

Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Narayan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray

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