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National RES Would Benefit Southeastern, Manufacturing States

windturbines3A national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that calls for 25 percent renewable energy by 2025 is expected to mostly benefit southeastern and manufacturing states that stand to gain the most from growth in wind, solar, biomass, waste-to-energy and hydropower, according to a report from the RES Alliance for Jobs.

The study, “Job Impacts of a National Renewable Electricity Standard” (PDF), conducted by Navigant Consulting, finds that a national RES will support 274,000 renewable energy jobs compared with a non-national policy option, and recommends raising near-term RES targets in federal legislation to 12 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2020.

The report finds that several states will benefit from a RES including southeastern states like Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee Georgia and Florida that are home to substantial biomass and municipal solid waste-to-energy industries, midwestern states like North and South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois with major wind energy resources, and western states like Colorado, Arizona, Oregon and California, where solar, wind and hydropower have significant growth potential.

Traditional manufacturing states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana will also benefit across a number of technologies, according to the report.

The report also indicates that several states will lose out including Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Alabama that do not have renewable standards or targets.

In addition, several states including Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina would lose renewable electricity jobs unless a national policy is passed, according to the report.

The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy Security Act (Waxman-Markey) in June last year, which would set a national RES of 20 percent by 2020 and allow up to 8 percent of the standard to be met through energy efficiency improvements, says the RES Alliance.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee also passed the American Clean Energy Leadership Act in June last year with a target of 15 percent by 2021 that would allow up to 4 percent of the standard to be met through energy-efficiency improvements, according to the organization.

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