According to a new report, if Virginia were to create a strong portfolio of solar, biomass and wind power to satisfy its increasing energy needs through 2035, more jobs would be created than if the state chose to meet future demand solely with fossil fuels.
The George Mason Center for Regional Analysis came to this conclusion by projecting Virginia’s energy need for the next 25 years to be around 19,448 MW, half of which can be met through renewable means. The researchers say that a combination of biomass, burning wood pellets and other sawmill refuse, solar and wind power could be the main players.
As for the job creation aspect, researchers came up with two different scenarios of the renewable energy source’s application.
Demand met by 50% biomass, 28% wind and 22% solar would result in 172,328 new jobs while generating a gross state product of $20.8 million.
A second scenario has biomass at 40%, 51% wind power and 9% solar. This scenario would create 107,890 jobs while generating a staggering $13 billion in gross state product.
Coal, on the other hand, would create 43,442 jobs and a gross state product valued at $5.3 billion and natural gas would create 20,473 jobs and a gross state product of $2.5 billion.
That means under the second scenario, renewable energy sources would pull in a gross state product more than natural gas and coal combined. And of course, either scenario shows considerably more job creation.
Just a little something to chew on.