The economic benefits of investing in clean energy: How the economic stimulus program and new legislation can boost U.S. economic growth and employment
This study, commissioned by the Center for American Progress, examines broader economic considerations—jobs, incomes, and economic growth—through the lens of two government initiatives this year by the Obama administration and Congress. The first is the set of clean-energy provisions incorporated within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The second is the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act which is now before Congress. Our analysis in this paper shows that these measures operating together can generate roughly $150 billion per year in new clean-energy investments in the United States over the next decade. This estimated $150 billion in new spending annually includes government funding but is notably dominated by private-sector investments. We estimate this sustained expansion in clean-energy investments can generate a net increase of about 1.7 million jobs. This expansion in job opportunities can continue as long as the economy maintains a commitment to clean-energy investments in the $150 billion per year range. If clean-energy investments expand still faster, overall job creation will increase correspondingly. These investments could, therefore, not only guide us out of our fossil-fuel dependent crisis, but serve as a powerful engine of economic recovery and long-term economic vigor in the U.S.