North Carolina's renewables lobby and trade group is countering Republican attempts to roll back green energy subsidies with a new report painting the state's current policies in a GOP-friendly light as job creators and revenue generators.
Some Republicans consider subsidies for solar farms and other renewables to be boondoggles that raise power bills for households and businesses. State legislature is likely to consider a number of bills to scale back such subsidies, including an expected bill to freeze the amount of solar, wind and biomass power that electric utilities have to add to the state's power grid.
The N.C. Sustainable Energy Association announced a report Monday saying that since 2007, programs that encourage or mandate renewables and conservation have created 21,162 jobs and generated $1.7 billion in economic benefit for the state. N.C. SEA warns that those jobs and revenues will go to neighboring states if North Carolina abandons its policies to promote green economy jobs.
"Clean energy is creating thousands of jobs, fostering innovation, and attracting billions in private investment to North Carolina," said Betsy McCorkle, N.C. SEA's government affairs director.
N.C. SEA brought in some reputable names for its effort to preserve policies favorable to its members. The report was conducted by RTI International in Research Triangle Park and La Capra Associates in Boston, Massachusetts.