GridWise report: 280,000 new jobs tied to smart grid deployment

Washington, D.C., Jan. 6, 2009 — In a report on smart grid jobs released by the GridWise Alliance, it is estimated that up to 280,000 new jobs can be created directly from the deployment of smart grid technologies. The report found that federal investment in a smart grid could act as a catalyst for these planned and immediate direct jobs as well as spawn many indirect jobs.

“The Smart Grid Jobs Report” was written by GridWise member company KEMA Inc. In addition to the 280,000 direct jobs, the report notes that a smart grid will drive a substantial number of indirect jobs as it enables the deployment of new technologies such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, distributed renewable energy resources such as solar, smart appliances, home automation software and hardware, and wind energy generation. The report does not quantify the number of these indirect jobs.

The report projects that a $16 billion federal investment in smart incentives over the next four years would drive $64 billion in smart grid related projects resulting in approximately 280,000 new direct positions across various categories. “Over 150,000 of these jobs would be created by the end of 2009 and nearly 140,000 newly created high-value positions would become permanent after a smart grid deployment,” explained Ralph Masiello, senior VP of energy systems consulting at KEMA.

“Increasingly a smart grid is seen as a key enabler for the new energy economy and as such, is foundational for the millions of ‘green collar jobs’ President-Elect Obama is aiming for,” says Guido Bartels, chairman of the GridWise Alliance and general manager of global energy & utilities industry at IBM.

President-Elect Obama and key Senate and House leaders have frequently mentioned a smart grid as an economic and infrastructure booster. The GridWise Alliance, with 70 members from all across the energy value chain, believes that a smart grid is essential to achieving goals for integrating energy from renewable resources and energy efficiency technologies such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

The GridWise Alliance was founded in 2003. The Alliance advocates a vision of an electric system that integrates the infrastructure, processes, devices, information and market structure so that energy can be generated, distributed, and consumed more efficiently and cost effectively; thereby achieving a more resilient, secure and reliable energy system. Its members include utilities, IT companies, equipment vendors, new technology providers and educational institutions.

To view the full report visit www.gridwise.org.

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