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New study supports Kentucky renewables bill

13 Jan 2012

A new study has estimated that in ten years the US state of Kentucky could create more than 28,000 jobs and slow the growth of electricity bills, by passing new legislation currently in front of the General Assembly.

Synapse Energy Economics was commissioned to produce an analysis of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act currently being debated. The proposal calls for the establishment of a renewable and efficiency standard requiring utilities to obtain an increasing share of their electricity from renewables and to ramp-up efficiency drives.

The bill would require energy companies to supply 12.5 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and to achieve 10.25 per cent cumulative energy savings by the same year.

The Synapse study concludes that should the Act pass, households would see annual electricity bills fall by between eight and ten per cent. In addition, it said the 28,000 jobs created would mitigate those lost in the fossil fuel sector and add $1.5bn to the gross state product once fully implemented in 2022.

Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, said, ‘This study confirms that legislation to diversify our electricity portfolio would be economically beneficial to Kentucky. The bill would allow the state to hedge against increasing rates by making homes and businesses more energy efficient. And it would spur the creation of clean energy jobs installing renewable energy projects and making energy efficiency upgrades. The era of cheap energy is coming to an end and it is really a question of whether we in Kentucky take advantage of the opportunities that exist in the clean energy economy of the future.’

Matt Partymiller of Solar Energy Solutions, added, ‘Efficiency and renewables are already the emerging trend in construction in the Commonwealth. This report by Synapse captures what Kentucky engineers and contractors already know and what other states have already seen. Legislation like the Clean Energy Opportunity Act will provide the tools necessary for Kentucky builders to create jobs while ensuring Kentucky energy costs stay low.’

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