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REPORT: Stimulus Investments in Advanced Energy Would Deliver More Than $150 Billion to Colorado’s Economy

Posted by Aidan Boyd on Oct 6, 2020

Analysis shows $25 billion in stimulus investment would add six-fold return to Colorado’s gross state product, increase tax revenues, create a million jobs, and deliver annual savings to consumers

DENVER, October 6, 2020 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a report that quantified significant economic benefits associated with investments in advanced clean energy deployment for the state of Colorado. The report, which was produced by international economics consultant Analysis Group for AEE, used an industry-standard modeling tool to estimate the impact of investing state or federal stimulus funds in advanced energy technologies, products, and services to boost economic activity in the wake of the COVID-19 slowdown.

The full report “Economic Impact of Stimulus Investment in Advanced Energy: An economic assessment of applying stimulus funds to advanced energy technologies, products, and services in Colorado,” is available here.

“As Coloradans, like the rest of the nation, suffer the economic impacts of the coronavirus health crisis, this report shows investment in advanced energy delivers huge returns to our state’s economy, creating in-state jobs and adding much-needed tax revenues to state and local coffers,” said Emilie Olson, policy principal at Advanced Energy Economy. “Focusing public stimulus on advanced energy solutions also attracts billions of dollars in private investment and saves consumers billions annually.”

“By investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, while accelerating the shift to electrified buildings and zero-emission transportation, we can revitalize economic growth in the state’s hardest hit communities and stay on track to fulfilling Colorado's energy and pollution reduction ambitions,” added Olson.

Specifically, the report shows that a hypothetical investment of $25 billion of public investment dollars in Colorado, allocated across a range of advanced energy technologies, would produce the following economic benefits:

  • Adding a total of $157 billion to Colorado’s economy (Gross State Product), a six-fold return on the investment.
  • Attracting $66 billion in complementary private investment, a contributor to GSP impact above.
  • Creating 1 million new jobs, measured in job-years, resulting in a mix of short-term construction or installation employment along with ongoing positions;
  • Increasing tax revenues by $8 billion to local and state
    governments; and,
  • Saving consumers $7 billion annually in energy costs.

The report found that energy efficiency investments delivered the greatest overall boost to the Colorado economy, totaling $92 billion in Gross State Product, and the most jobs (514,000 job-years). The next biggest impact came from renewable energy generation (solar and wind), totaling $30 billion, and 211,000 jobs. Investments in electric transportation – electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure – would contribute $16 billion in economic activity and create 135,000 job-years of employment.

In terms of consumer savings, energy efficiency investments produced the greatest benefits. For residential customers, energy efficiency would save $4 billion per year and rooftop solar $490 million annually. Commercial and industrial customers would save $2 billion per year from energy efficiency upgrades and onsite solar. Switching from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric would save drivers $470 million in fuel costs.

The report notes that a greater or lesser level of stimulus investment would result in greater or lesser economic impact, but the modeling shows that advanced energy stimulus investments can generate important and positive economic benefits in the state of Colorado, adding substantial value to the Colorado economy, creating a million jobs, and sending additional revenue to state and local governments.

“Colorado’s advanced energy industry was thriving before COVID-19 hit and today remains well positioned to lead our state's economic recovery thanks to the strong foundation established by the Polis Administration and the Legislature's consistent leadership,” said Olson. “With more than 68,000 employed in the sector supported by a broad range of companies (both homegrown and multi-national businesses), we can cement advanced energy as a reliable economic driver for years to come, while making good on our commitment to deliver secure, clean, affordable energy for all Coloradans.”

AEE’s Colorado Jobs fact sheet shows there were 68,100 workers employed in Colorado’s advanced energy industry in 2019, more than those working in hospitals and twice those in mining, oil, and gas extraction across the state. The sector experienced strong 4% jobs growth last year and employers reported they expected a substantial 5% increase in jobs before COVID-19 hit*.

*NOTE: Employment data was derived from the 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment
Report produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in association with the National
Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and collected and analyzed by BW
Research Partnership, as well as data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy
businesses. Engaged at the federal level, in Colorado and more than a dozen states around the country, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.6 million U.S. workers. Learn more at www.aee.net, track the latest news @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases