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Over $2 billion in direct, local economic activity from project development An average of 1,700 individual jobs each year through 2022 (17,000 job-years) 2,300 individual jobs supported in 2022—peak construction year High quality, local jobs related to project development and installation (direct jobs) Cleaner air in New York by reducing levels of notorious air pollutants—28,000 tons of Sulfur Dioxide, 14,200 tons of Nitrous Oxide and 51.6 tons of mercury
New York State has what it takes to be a solar powerhouse. Hundreds of solar companies already employing thousands of New Yorkers are eager to grow to meet increased solar demand throughout the state. With policies such as Governor Cuomo’s NY Sun Initiative, New York is headed in the right direction. However, in order to become a national leader supporting thousands of more local jobs and attracting billions of dollars of investment, New York needs even stronger policies—policies that are long-term, create market certainty and send a clear signal to the global solar industry that New York is open for business. Both the Senate and Assembly have long-term solar legislation before them in the form of the New York Solar Jobs Act. And more recently, Governor Cuomo has come to the table with a 10-year NY-Sun legislative proposal that includes the three key principles necessary to drive a robust solar industry in NY: certainty, longevity, and scale; all without impacting existing utility rates. The New York Solar Jobs Coalition strongly supports these long-term solar policies as they will unleash industry potential and instill confidence for investing in New York; investment that will create and sustain thousands of quality jobs and generate robust economic activity. Although ultimately dependent on program design, we estimate that funding levels included in the Governor’s proposed NY-Sun legislation would result in 2,200 MW of new, clean solar generation by 2022—enough solar capacity to meet the electricity needs of over 400,000 New York residences. The following memo details the direct economic and environmental benefits that will result from the sustained and orderly deployment of 2,200 MW of solar throughout New York State.
The development of solar energy creates more jobs per Megawatt (MW) than any other energy generating technology.i
To analyze the job creation and economic benefits of a long-term and scalable solar program, this report used the Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Designed to trace state specific supply and expenditure patterns, the JEDI model estimates the local economic activity and job impacts of constructing and operating new solar energy facilities.ii . According to JEDI analysis, New York can expect to create and sustain an impressive solar workforce from the orderly deployment of 2,200 MW of solar through 2022. Substantial job creation would result from project development and on-site labor impacts during the installation and construction period.iii JEDI estimates that the New York Sun Act would create and support an average of approximately 1,700 individual jobs each year through 2022, a total of roughly 17,000 job-years.iv With orderly and growing levels of solar development, the peak construction year in 2022 would support roughly 2,300 individual jobs. Importantly, long-term policies such as the NY Sun Act are premised on market transformation potential whereby the solar industry is able to ramp up and sustain operations and development beyond the life of the program.
0 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Average
Jobs in the solar industry are high quality jobs across a broad range of education and skill requirements, salary levels and fields.v As highlighted above, the most significant number of jobs are those related to solar project development and installation—these are jobs served by the local workforce that cannot be outsourced. Job
creation opportunities also exist in the manufacturing and supply chain sectors. While the solar industry has a global manufacturing base, proximity to market potential remains a significant factor for attracting manufacturing facilities and supply chain vendors to a state. Lastly, advanced research of solar technologies also supports a variety of employment opportunities, such as those at the SUNY Nanotech Center. In addition to direct jobs, New York can expect additional job creation resulting from the development of 2,200 MW of solar. Indirect jobs would result from the increase in demand for goods and services from direct on-site project spending. Induced jobs would result from reinvestment and spending of earnings by direct and indirect beneficiaries. The New York Sun Act, therefore, has the potential to create an additional 31,000 job-years, or an average of 3,100 individual jobs each year through 2022. Solar facilities also require longterm operations and maintenance (O&M) support; the development of 2,200 MW of solar would create approximately 620 long-term O&M jobs to ensure that these solar systems are operating at their full potential. These are jobs that, once created, would be sustained for a period of 25 years. Finally, the earnings from the jobs created by the NY Sun Act (direct, indirect and induced) would total nearly $3.0 billion. These wages and salaries would be reinvested back into the state economy, thereby significantly contributing to New York’s economic engine.
The deployment of 2,200 MW of solar would generate billions of dollars in economic activity throughout New York State.
The injection of investment in solar development in New York would trigger several rounds of spending resulting in increased economic activity. Much like job creation, JEDI accounts for economic output as a result of direct, indirect and induced impacts. Specifically, economic output refers to the total value of goods and services generated in the state as a result of the installation and operation of solar energy systems. The JEDI model demonstrates significant economic output resulting from a long-term and scalable solar program such as the New York Sun Act. The economic output resulting from direct project development and supporting services for the construction of 2,200 MW of solar by 2022 would be over $2 billion dollars. Indirect and induced economic impact is also significant holding the potential to generate an additional $5.3 billion dollars during the 2012-2022 construction period.
$2.0 Billion $3.2 Billion $2.1 Billion
Project Development & On-site Labor Impacts Module & Supply Chain Impacts
Importantly, the New York Sun Act will be advantageous to New York businesses beyond the solar industry by enabling them to control a portion of their energy costs with a predictably-priced and reliable on-site generation source. Businesses that are able to take electricity management into their own hands are offered a competitive advantage in a world of volatile and increasing energy prices and shaky economic times. By taking advantage of long-term certainty offered under this bill, solar developers will be able to leverage already available federal and state tax benefits, net metering and increasingly cost competitive technologies, to offer New York businesses long-term contracts at rates that are at or below their current retail rates. These energy savings will continue to grow over time, allowing local businesses to reinvest their precious capital in new equipment and the skilled employees they need to remain competitive—rather than be lost to everincreasing energy bills.
Installing solar energy will improve air quality and reduce health care costs for all New Yorkers.
The most health-damaging air pollution impacting New York includes fine particulates, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Fine particulates often consist of toxic ‘heavy’ metals like mercury and lead that can reach deep into the lungs through normal breathing, attaching to red blood cells which then deposit toxic metals in other tissue and organs. Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide also combine in the atmosphere to form groundlevel ozone—with the ripest conditions for ground-level ozone existing on our hottest, air stagnant days. These types of emissions are proven to trigger asthma and other acute respiratory disease symptoms for the most vulnerable population, while lowering the quality of life and life expectancy for everyone.vi Distributed and rooftop solar can cost-effectively help New York transition to a clean energy economy. By following the methodology utilized in NYSERDA’s 2012 Solar Study, the table below demonstrates that deploying 2,200 MW of solar will result in significant air pollution and health benefits.vii
Emissions Type Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) Mercury
Reduction Amount (short tons)viii 28,800 14,200 51.6
Paired with more stringent air quality standards, solar, and other clean energy solutions, will have a powerful impact on improving the health and livelihoods of all people throughout the region. The increased use of solar in New York can improve air quality and help decrease health-related costs incurred by the continued operation of New York’s most polluting energy technologies. The commitment to solar established by the New York Sun Act will enable the growing global solar industry to invest in New York with the certainty of a long-term market. This private investment will help drive down the cost of local solar installations and scale an industry that will provide thousands of jobs to New Yorkers over the next decade—all while building a safer, healthier, and more secure energy economy.
Wei, Max et al, 2010, Putting Renewables to Work: How Many Jobs Can the Clean Energy Industry Create?, Energy Resources Group, Goldman School of Public Policy and the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in Energy Policy, vol 38, issue 2, February 2010. ii As an “input-output” model, NREL’s JEDI model is based upon data from the Minnesota IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) Group, which compiles economic and demographic data for calculating inter-industry linkages and the relationships between changes in demand for goods and services and the associated economic activity. http://www.nrel.gov/analysis/jedi/about_jedi.html iii Project development and on-site labor impacts are the direct jobs and immediate economic impacts created by expenditure to develop a solar project. In the construction of a solar facility, these effects refer to the on-site jobs of contractors and crews to construct the system, as well as jobs that construct materials and equipment for the solar facility. This category includes money spent on labor for individuals working to develop a given project, encompassing jobs that are performed on-site as well as basic project development services and construction management. iv Job-years, or full-time equivalents (FTE), are defined as 2,080-hour units of labor (one construction period job equates to one fulltime job for 1 year). v The Department of Energy’s Solar Career Map explores solar-energy occupations, describing diverse jobs across the industry, charting possible progression between them, and identifying the high-quality training necessary to do them well. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/careermap/ vi Pope, C. Arden, et al. Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol 360, 376-386. Jan 2009. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0805646 vii New York Solar Study: An Analysis of the Benefits and Costs of Increasing Generation from Photovoltaic Devices in New York. NYSERDA, January 2012. Online: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/Publications/Energy-AnalysisReports/~/media/Files/Publications/Energy-Analysis/solar-study-full-report.ashx viii Using the total emissions reduction from the ‘base case’ scenario of 5,000 MW of solar by 2025 in the NYSERDA 2012 Solar Report (see Table ES-4 on page ES 25), the calculations were made by multiplying the fraction of the total installed amounts for each scenario (e.g., “1500 MW by 2022” and “2150MW by 2022”) from 5,000 MW. Thus for the “Low Case” of 1500 MW by 2022, the factor applied was 1500/5000 or 0.3; and for the “High Case” of 2150 MW by 2022, the factor applied was 2150/5000 or 0.43.
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