Between 2007 and 2013 clean energy development in North Carolina has generated $4.7 billion in the state. That’s according to a new report out from the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), which commissioned the study from RTI International. The report shows the significant value that renewable energy, like solar power and biomass, as well as energy efficiency, has contributed to North Carolina’s economy, generating fully $1.93 in revenue for every dollar invested.
RTI’s study found that North Carolina’s Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS)—which requires the state’s investor-owned utilities to supply up to 12.5 percent of their electric generation from renewable sources was a key driver of clean energy in the state. Other clean energy incentives were also significant drivers of clean energy in the state.
“Clean energy has offered the people of North Carolina a solid return on investment, especially in some of our state’s rural communities,” said NCSEA spokesperson Lowell Sachs. He added that the revenues generated by clean energy are used to improve transportation, education and public safety. “That’s real value.”
“Clean energy is creating thousands of jobs, fostering innovation and attracting billions in private investment to North Carolina,” Sachs said. The investments were also found effective in North Carolina’s rural counties. For instance, the counties of Beaufort, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Davidson, Duplin, Person, Robeson, Wake and Wayne each saw more than $50 million of renewable energy investment over the study’s period.
The research determined that overall the state invested roughly $2.7 billion into clean energy between 2007 and 2013. In the process the investments also created the equivalent of 36,885 annual full-time jobs, according to the report. “As our elected officials consider an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy for our state, this study should encourage them to applaud the success of the clean energy industry and preserve the policies that are enabling more competition and choice for energy consumers,” Sachs contended.
The study is a follow-up to a previous study and comes out as resistance to clean energy in North Carolina continues to simmer. That despite North Carolinian’s contentedness with their rooftop solar installations.
The study also showed that bigger impacts were felt in later years. For instance, in 2007, the state saw only $17.5 million in renewable energy projects. By 2013 the investments grew to $732.4 million a year.Tweet