Global warming is an alarming concern for the governments all across the world. The average global temperature across land and ocean for 2015 recorded a 1.62°F rise compared to the 20th century average of 57.0°F. Since the rising level of atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming, some of the world’s most carbon-intensive economies, including the US, face an enormous challenge. While there is little doubt that alternative energy technologies can help dramatically cut the nation’s consumption of traditional fossil fuels, there is a socio-economic reason for the US government to give a push to the renewable sector. Multiple researches reveal that investments in alternative energy projects can provide a boost to the country’s job market. The alternative energy sector in Tampa is a good case in point. The sun-kissed Florida city, which has experienced a steady growth in its solar sector over the past few years, reportedly generated thousands of jobs for those managing, installing and maintaining solar equipment throughout the supply chain. This job growth holds a ripple effect, which in turn benefit the local economy in many ways.
As opposed to capital-intensive fossil fuel technologies, the renewable energy industry is more labor-intensive, and therefore, capable of generating more jobs. In 2009, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a US-based science advocacy non-profit organization, conducted a research to analyze the economic benefits of a 25 percent renewable energy standard by 2025. The report predicted that if implemented successfully, such a policy would create 202,000 new jobs in 2025.
Economic Ripple Effect
In any economy, when an industry experiences growth, other sectors also start gaining from its spilling effects. Take Tampa as an example, where growth in the solar photovoltaic industry benefitted unrelated local businesses.
More Income for Local Administrations
With new renewable energy plants coming up, local governments enjoy a fresh stream of income from new sets of taxes on properties and income of the alternative energy companies. The increased revenues help to support vital public services. Not only for the governments, they also open up new channels of supplementary cash-flow for the rural landowners and the farmers, as they keep on receiving handsome income in lease payments and royalties on a life-long basis. Taking 2025 as the target year, UCS analysis found that the national renewable electricity standard would garner $13.5 billion in new landowner income in the form of land lease payments coming from biomass and wind farms, and $11.5 billion in new property tax revenue for the governments.
Less Dependence on Fossil Fuel
Electricity generated from alternative energy sources helps reduce a region’s spending on coal and natural gas imports. This helps local economies save both their expenditure and the environment.
Stability in the Energy Prices
Besides providing affordable electricity to consumers across the country, alternative energy can significantly help stabilize energy prices in a region.
When it comes to alternative energy, Tampa has all the right elements to play a more decisive role in the country’s journey toward a greener future. It is, therefore, crucial for the policymakers to consider renewable energy as a catalyst to stimulate the local economy. People in this sun-bathed city should come forward and encourage the local administration to introduce policies geared toward utilizing the sources of renewable energy to the most.