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Renewable incentive delays forecast losses

Over 116,000 US jobs and nearly $19 billion in investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by the Congress, said a study.

Over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry, said the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association in the study.

The states that could lose the most jobs include Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California.

“This study confirms the huge economic stimulating impact of extending the tax credits for renewable energy,” commented Gregory Wetstone, senior director for public and government affairs of the American Wind Energy Association.

“At risk are many thousands of construction jobs, operations and maintenance jobs, and a major shot in the arm for the ailing US manufacturing sector,” he added.

“Solar energy is an economic engine that creates high-quality jobs and attracts commercial investment,” said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “If the investment tax credit is not renewed in early 2008, it will disrupt this high-growth sector, impact tens of thousands of US jobs, and undermine advances in clean energy production.”

The study was released just as the US Department of Labor reported an economy-wide job loss for the first time since 2003. Some 17,000 pink slips were issued in January, with construction and factory workers especially hard hit. (Xinhua)