Clean Energy: Another Tool in the Toolkit for Economic Development
In under a decade the clean energy industry in North Carolina has grown from individual entrepreneurs to small businesses to multi-state enterprises. This homegrown industry wants to keep its roots in our state and export their goods and services to other Southeast states who have enacted policies to replicate NC’s successes.
North Carolina’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) law enacted in 2007, is allowing market competition and choice. Because of the monopoly granted to utilities, policies like the REPS law are the closest thing we have to a free market. Maintaining these policies, which help attract investment and spur innovation while providing jobs and long-term economic opportunities in our state, is of utmost importance. Since 2008, nearly $3 billion has been invested in renewable energy projects across our state, including about two-thirds built in North Carolina’s rural communities, which also results in significant property taxrevenues for local governments. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015)
Clean energy policies, such as the REPS, are promoting an environment for job creation and industry success that benefits all North Carolinians and unfortunately, a few policy makers are encouraging a rollback of this law, while most are celebrating its success.
NC’s Clean Energy Investments Are Working. (Literally.)
- Clean energy development supported 44,549 annual full-time equivalents (FTEs), equivalent to one person working full time for a year, from 2007 to 2014.
- Approximately $3,472.8 million was invested in clean energy development in North Carolina between 2007 and 2014, which was supported, in part, by the state government at an estimated cost of $195.6 million. Leadership in sustainable economic development and job creation | capefearedc.org
- Clean energy investments were nearly 18 times larger than the state incentives for them.
- Renewable energy project investment in 2014 was $651.9 million, or nearly 38 times the $17.3 million investment observed in 2007. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).
Every Corner of the State is Benefiting, Especially Rural Areas
- Catawba, Davidson, Duplin, Person, Robeson, and Wayne Counties experienced the greatest amount of investment—more than $100 million each.
- Beaufort, Cabarrus, Columbus, Cleveland, Wake, Nash, Chatham, Harnett, Montgomery, Lenoir, and Davie Counties each experienced between $50 million and $100 million in investment between 2007 and 2014. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).
Clean Energy Policies Mean Jobs, Reliable Electricity and Cost Savings – Now and in the Future
- The net present value of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard savings compared to a conventional portfolio equals $651 million. The analysis finds the greatest annual savings occur in 2029, when the portfolio provides $287 million in savings.
- Since the start of the REPS in 2007 through the year 2029, rates are forecasted to be lower than they would have been had the state continued to only use existing, conventional generation sources. (Source: RTI/Scott Madden, 2015).
The CFEDC supports policies that improve economic development and job growth in the Cape Fear region and North Carolina, and the results are clear that the REPS is doing exactly that and should be maintained.