100% of New US Electricity in 2012 Will Be Renewable With Passage of 401(K) Tax Credit

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Proposed Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will help create 500,000 green collar jobs and double annual increase of renewable energy production within three years.

The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will rapidly allow all new US electricity to be generated from renewable sources.

An unusual alliance of business, trade association and environmental groups are calling on President Barack Obama, Congress and the Senate to implement a tax credit incentive for companies that add a renewable energy fund to employee 401(k) plans. The new legislation could be added to the near completed economic stimulus bill or follow quickly after.

According to the Renewable Energy Task Force of the South Denver Chamber of Commerce, the Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will be a high yield federal investment.

  •     government cost of $7 to $8 billion dollars will generate $60 - $100 billion investment in renewable energy
  •     allow 50 million Americans to invest a projected 5% of their 401(k) plans in clean energy production
  •     create 500,000 or more clean energy jobs over three years
  •     create an annual increase of 20,000 MW of new wind, solar and geothermal electrical generation by 2012
  •     help renewable energy meet 100% of new national electricity demand in three years

"Last year almost half of all new US electricity was generated from renewable energy," says Jim Welch, CEO of Bella Energy, a Colorado based solar energy firm, "The Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will rapidly allow all new US electricity to be generated from renewable sources."

American Wind Association data released last week indicates that more than 8,000 MW of new wind production was built in 2008 with investment in the wind energy sector passing the $17 billion mark. Totaling 42% of all new US generation capacity added in 2008, the newly added wind farms produce enough electricity for 2 million homes. These numbers are up from wind providing 30% of all new US electrical generation in 2007.

The additional annual $20 to $30 billion of new investment generated by the Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit will help to more than double the number of new clean energy megawatts installed each year. With swift passage of the proposed tax credit bill, by 2012 one hundred percent of new US electrical demand can be provided by renewable energy. This is consistent with President Obama's target to double renewable energy production over the next three years.

"In 2007, investment in the American renewable energy sector, including both wind and solar, was $19 billion dollars with employment of 116,000 people. More than 50,000 new renewable jobs were created in 2008 - that's an impressive annual growth rate of 45%," continues Jim Welch, "Congress and the Senate need to support the Renewable Energy 401(k) Tax Credit which will create $100 billion in clean energy investment and 500,000 new green jobs over the next three years."

Reflecting the national trend, Colorado's renewable energy sector has been experiencing rapid-fire employment growth. In 2008, AVA Solar added 165 new manufacturing and engineering jobs in Ft. Collins and Longmont. The new AVA manufacturing plant produces thin film solar panels at 30% of the cost of existing solar technology. Vestas built a new wind turbine manufacturing facility near Denver that employs 1,350 Coloradoans and uses 200,000 tons of steel annually to produce enough wind turbines to power more than half a million homes per year. Nationally, wind turbine and turbine component manufacturers announced, added or expanded 55 new facilities in 2008.

As renewable energy production rises faster than demand for electricity, surplus clean generation capacity will be used to retire aging conventional power plants over a 10 to 30 year period leading to significant reductions in climate change causing emissions.

Press Contact:    Ken J. Beitel
Renewable Energy Task Force
South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
m: 720 436-2465
Email: Ken.Beitel @ TheRenewableEnergyInitiative.org
Web: http://www.RETaskForce.biz

Disclosure: In order to reduce CO2 emissions and create jobs, Ken Beitel owns an IRA account with an investment amount of approximately $46,000 in the Calvert Alternative Global Energy fund held at JP Morgan Chase and Citi Smith Barney brokerages. Other individuals listed in this release may also own renewable shares or funds; full disclosure details available on request.

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