GEA Reports Show Industry Poised to Create Thousands of Jobs in 2011

Magazine: 

At a press preview for the 2010 Geothermal Energy Expo, hosted by the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), Executive Director Karl Gawell announced the findings of new industry reports that show the geothermal industry will add thousands of jobs as dozens of new clean geothermal power plants come online or enter advanced stages of development.

    "It is critical that we continue to support these sound policies despite the rancor of several short-sighted initiatives which seek to strip away these tools to help grow our economy."

GEA released reports on job creation in the geothermal industry and an industry update that showed how the industry is creating more jobs than conventional energy and is creating jobs that are permanent, full-time, and often provide a higher wage; in some cases with pay that doubles county and state averages.

The GEA report—“Green Jobs through Geothermal Energy”—found that the federal stimulus, tax incentives, and strong state renewable standards continue to fuel the growth in geothermal power and job creation. Every geothermal project that came online in 2009 took advantage of the tax reimbursement provisions of the stimulus bill, which helped maintain momentum for new projects and continue to create new jobs in America. Four of the top five states with geothermal power under development have substantial renewable electricity standards. In addition, the benefits of the stimulus to the geothermal industry have yet to be fully realized. About 95% of the projects receiving ARRA funding are either less than 50% complete or have yet to break ground.

"Recovery Act funding is going to make a huge difference over the next year to push projects to completion and create more jobs. The majority of the ARRA investment will really start to pay dividends for the economy in 2011,” said Karl Gawell, GEA Executive Director. “It is critical that we continue to support these sound policies despite the rancor of several short-sighted initiatives which seek to strip away these tools to help grow our economy."

GEA anticipates that 2011 will be a high-point of geothermal activity in the US under the stimulus legislation. There will be approximately 500 to 700 Megawatts of power projects in the final construction phase in 2011, and these projects will add approximately 3,000 construction jobs, primarily in Nevada