4) Spur Job Growth and Other Economic Benefits
A nation-wide switch to 100% clean energy would result in tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars saved.
Clean energy is a fast-growth, job-intensive industry. Electricity generation by renewable sources is seeing job growth, especially solar energy, while energy generated by fossil fuels has experienced a loss of jobs. According to the 2021 United States Energy Employment Report, approximately 40% of all energy jobs were made up of jobs related to renewable energy, and the greatest job loss was in fossil fuel extraction (9). With the push to install more solar and wind energy facilities, the demand for workers in construction, manufacturing, and maintenance will increase (10).
The switch to renewable energy along with electrification of heating, cooking, and transportation translates into economic benefits. A Union of Concerned Scientists report predicts that as the country moves toward 100% generation of energy from renewable resources, households will pay lower energy bills (9). Solar and wind installations also improve resiliency in the face of energy emergencies, such as after a strong storm. As air quality improves with a decrease in emissions, health care costs related to pollutant-induced health impacts will decrease.
The effects of switching to clean energy can also be felt outside the energy industry. Keeping energy production in the U.S. means more money goes to domestic workers and businesses, which in turn leads to stronger economic growth.
(9) United States Energy Employment Report, 2022. Department of Energy.
(10) Union of Concerned Scientists. On the road to 100 percent renewables. 2022. COPAL