Investing in Solar and Renewable Energy creates tremendous opportunities for the Gulf States including:
- Job and Economic Growth
- Energy Stability
- Environmental Protection
Read below to find out more about the quantifiable economic impacts of renewable energy in Louisiana and the Gulf States.
The Solar Energy Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America. The Louisiana Solar Industry has also experienced noteworthy growth since the adoption of solar incentives by the Louisiana Legislature in 2008. Growth is witnessed across the board from increases in installations, employment growth, and economic development.
- The Louisiana Solar Industry has grown from 5 firms to approximately 200 firms in the last four years.
- Growth can also be seen through the number of projects completed. In fiscal 2012, just over 630 projects were initiated in Louisiana compared to the 217 in 2010.
>>To learn more about the Solar Industry’s growth nationally – watch this presentation by SEIA
Jobs and Earnings
When solar grows in Louisiana so do the number of good high-paying jobs in Louisiana. According to a UC Berkeley study from 2009, solar PV creates the most jobs per unit of any type of electrical output.
- Installing solar PV creates 8 times as many jobs as installing the same capacity of either coal or natural gas.
- The Solar Industry has created over 1,000 full-time jobs for Louisianans since 2008.
- Analysis using NREL’s Jobs and Economic Development Impact Model (JEDI) indicates that approximately 200 full-time jobs were created in 2009 and 2010 combined. An additional 800 full-time jobs were created from 2011 through 2012.
- Assuming linear growth (about 25% growth per year), Louisiana can expect the creation of 2,000 additional full-time jobs by 2015.
- In addition to a growing number of jobs, the construction and installation of solar PV in the last four years has added an estimated $35 million in earnings (including wages and salaries) to the State of Louisiana’s taxable income.
Investment in Solar Creates Great Returns
Growth of the solar industry and the institution of renewable energy incentives results in millions of dollars of indirect economic development benefits. Louisiana residents who use solar power have lower energy bills which allows them to purchase goods and services that they would not have otherwise been able to afford. This pumps more money into the local economy, making solar power a true engine for economic development.
- Analysis from NREL’s JEDI model indicates that to date over 94 million dollars have been generated in Louisiana’s local economy as a result of the construction, installation, and operation of solar PV systems.
- The solar incentive program in Louisiana, not necessarily created for economic development purposes, nonetheless returns 75% of each dollar invested back to the state and significantly outperforms incentive tax credits.
Incentives Must Continue
Solar energy is one of the Gulf State’s most abundant natural resources. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have the opportunity to develop a long lasting system of solar energy infrastructure as well as attract high-tech and good paying jobs which Gulf communities desperately need. However, policy certainty is necessary in order for the solar industry to scale up, lower manufacturing and installation costs, and to become a significant part of our energy mix. The cost is worth the investment as it is working to create a free energy source that lasts.
The current Louisiana solar incentives have helped to jump start the fledgling solar industry in Louisiana but governing officials must make sure that policies are consistently implemented to take full advantage of the state’s resources and industry growth potential.
>>To read more about Louisiana’s Solar Incentives click here.