The Fiscal Benefits of Renewable Energy

The Fiscal Benefits of Renewable Energy

The creation of new and improved renewable energy resources supports local economies, creates jobs and helps America promote a cleaner, more sustainable and ethical future. We explore the benefits that renewable energy yields for organizations, governments and persons alike, below.  

Renewable energy yields a ridiculous amount of new jobs. More than 119,000 people worked in solar-related industries in 2012, while wind energy development provided employment to 75,000 full-time workers across the United States. In 2012, wind power made up 42 percent of all newly created U.S. electricity, representing a $25 billion investment in the U.S. economy.  These increases in renewable energy also benefit landowners. When wind turbines are installed on privately owned land, the landowners typically receive payments in the form of lease or royalty payments. These payments can be incredibly helpful to rural families. Renewable energy projects also pay property and income taxes that help support states and their accompanying locales. For example, wind projects in Iowa provided more than $19.5 million in annual property tax payments to state and local governments in 2011. Adhering to renewable energy standards (RES) is not just good for governmental entities and organizations, it is helpful to consumers as well. States with RES policies achieved more than 95 percent compliance with RES guidelines, with little to no impact on electricity rates in almost every state. Additionally, an evaluation of 14 states with RES policies estimated that all but one of the states experienced cost impacts of about 1.6 percent or less.

But not only does renewable energy inherently affect economies in a positive manner- one result of innovations in the field is that governments have begun providing related motivations. State governments and the federal government alike have begun to provide incentives for localities, organizations or individuals that are utilizing or innovating new, renewable energy sources. These incentives are being implemented on federal, state and local levels. Currently, there are 38 states that offer property tax exemptions in exchange for the utilization of renewable energy. Recently, New Jersey legislated policy exempting solar systems from local property taxes if the system is used to meet on-site electricity, heating and cooling needs. In Nevada, one of their trendy, green property tax exemptions (for renewable energy) allows businesses to apply for a property tax reduction of up to 55 percent for up to 20 years for property used to generate solar energy. There are some stipulations, including the fact that the facilities must produce at least 10 megawatts. In New Hampshire, governmental entities offer a rebate for residential solar energy practices. Furthermore, New Hampshire officials just enacted Senate Bill 129, the “New Hampshire Clean Energy Jobs and Opportunity Act of 2017,” which will support state biomass industries and the subsequent jobs they provide.  

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