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Jobs Analysis

NREL's jobs analysis—part of our broader effort supporting manufacturing analysis—focuses on jobs creation and economic output at the national, state, and community levels stemming from investments in clean energy technology deployment.

NREL's jobs analysis has shown that:

  • Targeted investments in wind and solar projects can result in positive jobs creation and positive return on investment at national and state levels
  • Investments impact all sectors of the economy—construction, equipment and material suppliers, supporting manufacturers, and service providers such as restaurants, retailers, and childcare providers, among others
  • Even rural, sparsely populated regions can experience boosted economic development and activity through investment in solar and wind projects.

Featured Study

In Economic Development Impact of 1,000 MW of Wind Energy in Texas, NREL estimated state and local impacts of two Texas wind projects (1.4 GW total) completed in 2005–2008 as follows:

  • 4,100 jobs created during 4-year construction period and 350 jobs annually during 20-year operation
  • Total economic impact over 20-year life estimated at $1.8 billion statewide and over $730 million to local communities (100-mile range of wind sites).

The Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) Input/Output (I/O) Model was used to calculate gross jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), earnings, and economic outputs within a region or state resulting from construction and operation of renewable energy installations. Model inputs were based on literature review of publicly available data, along with interviews and conversations with various developers and industry.