Report: New Transmission Translates Into Jobs
June 4, 2011 - renewgridmag.com
U.S. annual investment in new electric transmission facilities could soon reach $12 billion to $16 billion, resulting in $30 billion to $40 billion in annual economic activity, says a new study conducted by The Brattle Group and commissioned by WIRES. This translates into support for 150,000 to 200,000 new full-time jobs in the U.S. in each of the next 20 years and between 20,000 and 50,000 new jobs each year in Canada, the report adds.
In addition to the employment and downstream economic impacts of transmission manufacturing and construction, investment in needed transmission will annually support 130,000 to 250,000 full-time U.S. jobs in the renewable energy industry to which transmission capacity is so critical, WIRES adds.
"This report provides strong evidence that meeting the grid's challenges - including delivery of power from remote renewable generation to load centers far away - is good for the economy and will help create jobs,” says Jolly Hayden, vice president of transmission development at NextEra Energy Resources. “Strengthening the transmission grid will also address major reliability issues, reduce production costs, enhance competition for customers in wholesale power markets, contribute to fuel diversity and help reduce wholesale power prices.”
However, the study's positive outlook is contingent on the solving of several regulatory problems.
“We are not looking to government to do anything but take a fresh look at how the grid is planned, permitted and paid for today under procedures that pre-date the emergence of modern electric generation technology and regional power markets,” Hayden adds. “Although transmission investment is on the rise, there is plenty of evidence that good projects are falling victim to duplication and delay, lack of regional coordination and parochial interests.”
To download the full study, click here.