280,000 New U.S. Jobs Tied Directly to Smart Grid Deployment

As some of the highest first time unemployment claims in U.S. history were released this week, the Smart Grid Jobs Report, released by the GridWise Alliance could offer at least some light at the end of the tunnel. The report says that an estimated 280,000 new jobs can be created directly from the deployment of smart grid technologies. The report explains 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.

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.

“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,” said Guido Bartels, chairman of the GridWise Alliance and general manager of Global Energy & Utilities Industry at IBM.

The report projects that a US $16 billion Federal investment in smart incentives over the next four years would drive US $64 billion in smart grid related projects resulting in approximately 280,000 new direct positions across various categories. The Smart Grid Jobs Report was written by GridWise member company, Kema Inc.

“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,” said Ralph Masiello, senior vice president of Energy Systems Consulting for Kema.

To view the full report visit, click here.

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