Skip to comments.Study: Solar power could add 123,000 new jobs by 2020
Posted on 07/03/2007 1:32:27 PM PDT by P-40
Development of the solar energy industry in Texas would have a significant economic impact for consumers, the environment and workers, according to a study released by the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
Opportunity on the Horizon: Photovoltaics in Texas finds the benefits of nurturing the solar energy industry will stimulate the state's economy, reduce the cost of power for consumers and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
"Worldwide, the cost of converting sunlight to electricity is rapidly decreasing. The right public policies, combined with emerging and increasingly efficient technologies in solar power, would create a solid opportunity for Texas to build an economic engine on this non-polluting resource," Joel Serface of Clean Energy Incubator said.
The paper cites a recent University of California-Berkeley study that finds the solar industry produces seven to 11 times as many jobs on a megawatt capacity basis as coal-fired power plants and has a larger positive trickle-down effect than wind energy.
Estimates suggest Texas could generate 123,000 new high-wage, technology-related, advanced manufacturing and electrical services jobs by 2020 by actively moving toward solar power. It is predicted these jobs would be created across the entire state as large solar farms grow in West Texas, silicon plants develop along the Gulf Coast and manufacturing centers appear in Central Texas.
The report evaluates the competitive benefits Texas has in the worldwide market and compares the overall results of Texan efforts against other states and international competitors. The study notes that although Texas consumed more energy than any other state and has the best overall climate for producing solar energy year-round, it ranked 8th in solar adoption in 2006, producing just 1/100th of the solar energy of California.
Texans pay about 13 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. It is believed that the production of photovoltaics, like other semiconductors, would follow a predictable decline in costs. Analysts predict this cost decline will translate to between 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour as early as 2010.
In 1999, the Texas Legislature adopted a bill that introduced the retail competition in the sale of electricity and renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to consumers. Since 2002, electricity-users in deregulated markets have been able to choose their power providers from a multitude of retailers. The legislation requires energy providers to increase the amount of renewable energy produced through a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, hydro wave, tidal, biomass-based waste products or landfill gas.
To date, energy producers have chosen to focus on wind energy for a multitude of reasons, including federal tax incentives for producers, the large amount of wind resources in the state and the scalability of large wind projects. The report concludes that the legislation has brought many benefits to consumers across the state and can be used as a roadmap for the successful expansion of solar power across the state.
Worldwide, investors are confident in the future of solar power. The solar industry grew to $10.6 billion in revenues in 2006 and is estimated to be greater than $30 billion, with some analyst estimates as high as $72 billion for the entire solar value chain by 2010.
The report outlines several recommendations to strengthen the state's solar strategy. Starting with leadership to create the policies necessary for success, Texas could leverage its natural resources, skilled workforce, existing industries and entrepreneurial spirit to create a new energy industry, the report says.
Very cool. Hope it takes off.
123,000 new jobs huh. How many will be paid for in total with tax dollars or heavily subsidised? 122,000?
...pedaling those little bicycle generators after the conversion to make up the shortfall and keep the lights on.
In the western part of Texas, there’s not much of anything to speak of. They could cover most of west Texas with solar cells and power the rest of the country. Not like there’s anything else to do with it.
Why would they put a snow plow storage yard in Texas?
Gee, West Texas has hail storms. I am sure someone has thought of that.
It does look like a bunch of snow plows. Shiny ones at that. :)
utter baloney. imho.
solar is hyped by greenies but we could serve the entire nation with nuclear power with far less costs and far less numbers of workers...
123,000 people ??? $6-12 billion in employee costs alone just for Texas for electricity generation? They are on crack. That number of people would be enough to staff 200-300 nukes which in turn could power half the nation.
And then there is this article currently on Drudge describing a recent study claiming we use to much of the sun.
Solar ‘Greed’? Humans accused of overusing the Sun!
Sorry, can get the link from drudge to hear on us using to much son.
sun that is sorry
You take Drudge seriously regarding this? Try independent thinking instead of allowing yourself to be pulled into demagoguery.
How many jobs could be added to the U.S. economy if we drilled in ANWR and off the coast of Florida?
“And you would store that waste....where? That is the problem I don’t think we are ever going to get worked out. “
It’s a solved problem. Nulcear used fuel is a valuable resource that should be recycled, just like aluminum cans. It’s easier to recycle if the short-lived radioactivity dies down. so ... You store it on site at the nuclear power plant site for 50 years (dry cask storage, been doing that for the last 40 year laready no problem), at which point it is a lot cooler. Store it another 50 years at Yucca Mountain and/or then reprocess it as Mox-type fuel for another go around.
by 2050, we should have lead-bismuth fast reactors that can use up this stuff and burn it completely so there is zero real nuclear waste ove time.
“And I think the greenies gave up on solar power...now that too many people are using it and getting paid for it. :)”
People are paid for solar because it is a taxpayer-funded boondoggle. yet solar gives us less than 1% of our energy. meanwhile nuclear generates 20% of our power.
With all the money we waste on ‘alternative energy’ and ethanol subsidies, we could redirect is on cost-effective nuclear power and end forever the ‘threat’ of global warming.
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