Remember the US presidential election? I know, I know, it seems so long ago now. But one of the big topics in that marathon event was a discussion of jobs, the economy and green energy. From what I remember, there was a lot of talk about how the latter would help the former. The GridWise Alliance, which held GridWeek 2007 last April, has now given us an idea of how that might happen.
According to the Smart Grid Jobs Report, installing a smart grid (you know, the kind where your plug-in car could talk to the utility company) in the US would create 280,000 new jobs here. A federal investment of $16 billion over four years would create those jobs as well as stimulate smart grid investments of $64 billion, the report says. 280,000 jobs may sound good, but the US is losing more than that each month. Maybe the GridWise Alliance can convince Obama that we need to build like three smart grids, just to have two backups.
GridWise Alliance Releases Smart Grid Jobs Report: 280,000 New U.S. Jobs Tied Directly to Smart Grid Deployment
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a Smart Grid Jobs Report released today by the GridWise Alliance, it is estimated that up to 280,000 new jobs can be created directly from the deployment of smart grid technologies. The report explains that Federal investment in a smart grid could act as a catalyst for these planned and immediate direct jobs as well as spawn many indirect jobs.
The Smart Grid Jobs Report was written by GridWise member company, KEMA, Inc. In addition to the 280,000 direct jobs, the report notes that a smart grid will drive a substantial number of indirect jobs as it enables the deployment of new technologies such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, distributed renewable energy resources such as solar, smart appliances, home automation software and hardware, and wind energy generation. The report does not quantify the number of these indirect jobs. To view the full report visit www.gridwise.org.
"Increasingly a smart grid is seen as a key enabler for the new energy economy and as such, is foundational for the millions of 'green collar jobs' President-Elect Obama is aiming for," says Guido Bartels, Chairman of the GridWise Alliance and General Manager Global Energy & Utilities Industry at IBM.
The report projects that a $16 billion Federal investment in smart incentives over the next four years would drive $64 billion in smart grid related projects resulting in approximately 280,000 new direct positions across various categories. "Over 150,000 of these jobs would be created by the end of 2009 and nearly 140,000 newly created high-value positions would become permanent after a smart grid deployment," explained Ralph Masiello, Sr. VP, Energy Systems Consulting, KEMA, Inc.
"We know first-hand that a smart grid allows our electric infrastructure to be more reliable, resilient, and secure. There is also a growing consensus that a smart grid is one of the critical and necessary enablers for optimizing renewable resources, maximizing energy efficiency, and unleashing the potential of distributed energy storage technologies," said Katherine Hamilton, President of the GridWise Alliance.
President-Elect Obama and key Senate and House leaders have frequently mentioned a smart grid as an economic and infrastructure booster. The GridWise Alliance, with 70 members from all across the energy value chain, believes that a smart grid is essential to achieving goals for integrating energy from renewable resources and energy efficiency technologies such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
"A smart grid will enable a transformed electric supply sector and related job creation; incentivize a strong domestic market for U.S. smart grid technology firms; and create high value permanent positions in the energy economy," concludes Hamilton.
About the GridWise Alliance (www.gridwise.org)
The GridWise Alliance was founded in 2003. The Alliance advocates a vision of an electric system that integrates the infrastructure, processes, devices, information and market structure so that energy can be generated, distributed, and consumed more efficiently and cost effectively; thereby achieving a more resilient, secure and reliable energy system. Its members include utilities, IT companies, equipment vendors, new technology providers and educational institutions.
Current members of the GridWise Alliance include: 3Tier, ABB, Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent, Ambient Corporation, American Electric Power, Arcadian Networks, AREVA T&D, Austin Energy, Autodesk, BC Hydro, Beacon Power Corp., Bridge Strategy Group, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Cellnet+Hunt, Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies, CenterPoint Energy, Cisco Systems Inc., CMEA Ventures, Con Edison of New York Inc., Constellation Energy, Consumers Energy Company, Cooper Power Systems, CURRENT Group, Duke Energy, Electricite de France, Elster Integrated Solutions, Energy Insights, EnergySolve, EnerNex Corp, Environmental System Research Institute, Florida State University - Center for Advanced Power Systems, GE, Google, GridPoint, Inc., Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Institute of Electric Power Engineering - TU Clausthal, Itron, KEMA, Inc, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Midwest ISO, Milsoft Utilities Solutions, National Grid, New York ISO, Northern New Mexico College, Open Systems International, Optimal Technologies International, PJM Interconnection, Progress Energy, R.W. Beck, RockPort Capital Partners, RuggedCom, SAP, Sempra Energy: San Diego Gas & Electric, SensorTran, Inc., Serveron Corporation, Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc., Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Site Controls, SmartSynch, Solar Integrated Technologies, Tendril Networks, Tennessee Valley Authority, Utilities Telecom Council, VELCO, Washington State University, and ZIV USA, Inc.