Prioritizing the advanced energy industry could deliver an immediate economic stimulus, all while reducing carbon emissions and laying the groundwork for an equitable economic recovery.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2021 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released its priorities for a federal economic recovery package, outlining funding that would upgrade and modernize the electric grid, invest in energy efficiency projects and worker training, support the development of advanced energy manufacturing jobs in the United States, accelerate electrification of the transportation sector, and help deploy new advanced energy resources.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the U.S. advanced energy sector employed 3.6 million workers and was projected to be one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the U.S. According to recently released economic stimulus reports from AEE, $390 billion in public funds invested across a range of advanced energy technologies in eight states would add $2.425 trillion to state economies.
“The fast-growing advanced energy industry must play a key role in tackling our twin economic and climate crises,” said Leah Rubin Shen, Director at AEE. “These investments will provide an immediate jumpstart to our economy and create good-paying jobs across the country while also accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.”
The document, “Driving Economic Recovery Through Advanced Energy,” outlines that investments in advanced energy should quickly distribute funds for immediate economic relief, maximize opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, and prioritize just outcomes for workers and communities affected by the energy transition. It provides several recommendations for stimulus investment that can create advanced energy jobs and promote a 100% clean energy future, including:
- Invest in grid modernization and grid resilience. Provide funding to support the development of new power system modeling, software tools, and cybersecurity enhancements needed to speed up integration of advanced energy technologies, as in the Advanced Energy Technologies and Grid Efficiency Act.
- Invest in energy efficiency. Target funding to state and local governments to improve energy efficiency, including dedicating a percentage to projects that improve energy efficiency and ventilation in schools, reduce energy burdens for low- and moderate-income customers and small businesses, and spur investment in disadvantaged communities.
- Support a domestic advanced energy workforce. Provide tax credits to support investment in domestic advanced energy manufacturing and reward qualifying projects that use high-road labor standards, as in the Good Jobs for 21st Century Energy Act.
- Accelerate transportation electrification. Provide funding to leverage additional private investment to electrify school and transit buses, including an equipment-as-a-service option.
- Deploy new advanced energy resources through modernized tax incentives. Expand existing tax credits to add energy storage and capture all advanced energy technologies using a technology-neutral approach, as in the Clean Energy for America Act, and make tax credits available to more job creating businesses through a refundability option.
- Support the advanced energy transition through transmission and market. Support transmission expansion and interconnection improvements, including through a refundable investment tax credit for transmission, and fund the examination of expanding wholesale markets to accelerate the achievement of clean energy policies.
“The advanced energy industry is ready to power America’s economic recovery and our 100% clean energy future,” said Rubin Shen. “We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress to ensure that the full economic recovery potential of the industry is realized.”