Economic analysis finds $10 billion in targeted stimulus investment would have a seven-fold impact, increasing West Virginia’s gross state product, adding over 433,000 new jobs.
CHARLESTON, June 3 2021 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released an economic assessment that found $10 billion in public investments across a range of advanced energy technologies would increase West Virginia's gross state product (GSP) by $70 billion. This level of targeted stimulus would attract $23 billion in complementary private investment, save customers $4.1 billion annually, and add 433,000 jobs, measured in job-years, for West Virginians.
“An economic investment of this scale can generate a seven-fold return on investment for West Virginia,” said Leah Rubin Shen, director at Advanced Energy Economy. “Targeted investments in advanced energy bring substantial value and training opportunities for local workforces, creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs for West Virginians, all while helping workers transition to competitive emerging fields.”
“Clearway is delighted to be investing in West Virginia’s energy economy,” said Raymond G. Long, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Clearway. “We see tremendous economic opportunity for advanced energy in the state, as this report demonstrates, and are proud that our investments support increased grid reliability, create new good-paying jobs, and generate additional tax revenue for the Mountain State. We are looking forward to future investments that will enable the growth of advanced energy in the state in the years to come.”
The report, prepared for AEE by Analysis Group, a leading economic consultancy, specifically highlighted more than 433,000 new jobs (measured in job-years) for workers employed in current traditional energy sectors. The analysis illustrates additional economic benefits including more than $4 billion in added tax revenue to state and local governments and over $4 billion in annual consumer savings on electricity and fuel costs. Across the broader investment categories, there are also large increases in in-state manufacturing resulting from incremental spending on industries that rely on West Virginia manufactured goods.
“We know advanced energy investments stimulate economic activity through both public and private investments, as well as through consumer savings that flow back into the economy.” said Rubin Shen.
“Many forms of investment in advanced energy can generate long-run benefits to business and residential consumers,” Rubin Shen continued. “For example, spending on energy efficiency and onsite renewable resources lowers consumer energy bills and can reduce utility spending on transmission and distribution system infrastructure.”
Across technologies, energy efficiency investments give the greatest overall boost to the West Virginia economy, totaling $51 billion in GSP, with the next biggest impact from renewable energy generation (i.e. solar and wind), totaling $8.4 billion. Jobs Training investments total an additional $400 million in added impact.
“Energy-related stimulus investments can also prime the pump for substantial private investments in these technologies across West Virginia” said Rubin Shen.
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 West Virginia.