Clean Energy Job Creation Suffered 'Dramatic Decline' In Third Quarter, 2013 Outlook Grim, Green Group Says

David James | November 8, 2012 | 5:30pm EST
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According to the Third Quarter 2012 Clean Energy Jobs Roundup produced by the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), there was a "dramatic decline in [clean energy] job announcements from previous quarters."

E2 projects only 10,819 new clean energy jobs were created in the third quarter of this year, compared to 40,000 new jobs in the first quarter, and 37,000 new jobs in the second quarter.

Wind manufacturing job announcements fell to zero in the third quarter.

There were 14 job announcements for work at wind generation plants, according to E2, "but most involved projects that were being completed or nearing completion so that they could be pushed through before the Production Tax Credit's (PTC) scheduled expiration".

The E2 report blames this slow growth and loss of jobs on Congress's failure to extend the PTC:

"Decline in clean energy job growth is attributable to Congress's failure to extend the Production Tax Credit and uncertainty created by some campaign proposals to end or dramatically scale back federal support for renewable energy."

The PTC, according to the Database of State Incentives For Renewable and Efficiencies, is a "is a per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources and sold by the taxpayer to an unrelated person during the taxable year.

Originally enacted in 1992, the PTC has been renewed and expanded numerous times, most recently by H.R. 1424 (Div. B, Sec. 101 & 102) in October 2008 and again by H.R. 1 (Div. B, Section 1101 & 1102) in February 2009 ".

It is currently under deliberation in Congress for possible extension.

E2 also expects clean energy job creation to decrease significantly in 2013. Jacob Susman, a member of E2 and the founder of windfarm developer OwnEnergy, said in a conference call today:

"I think, if you look industry wide, kind of top down, 2013 is going to be a bear of a year. [In] 2012, we're likely to have something like 12,000 megawatts of new installed capacity in the U.S. That's more than we've ever done in a single year before.

"I think at this stage we're all hopeful around the industry that even once the PTC extension takes hold, we're hopeful that we can eek out a quarter of that for 2013.

"It's just coming too late in the game, too many manufacturers have slowed down their manufacturing, too many developers have slowed down development, so there's no getting around that 2013 is going to be a difficult year."

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