Webinar | October 2013

The Impact of Renewable Energy In Southern Economies

Jeremy Williams

According to the U.S. Energy Administration, renewable energy accounted for almost half of all the new power generation capacity installed in the United States in 2012: a generating capacity totaling about 13,000 megawatts while creating about 110,000 new jobs in 2012 alone. This indicates the growing influence of green energy on the power industry and the national, regional and state economies.

A number of Southern economies are leaders in this effort, including Georgia, Tennessee and Texas. Renewable energy development allows for the branching out from customary energy projects, creating new jobs and impacting state and local economies in nontraditional ways. For instance, renewable energy projects are not only a source of economic development, they provide a reliable source of clean fuel, hedge against volatility in fossil fuel prices, minimize the need for energy from unstable parts of the world and promote energy independence in the United States. Since renewable energy projects rely on upfront capital investment and/or tax incentives, private-public partnerships remain an integral part of their development. As the technology for renewable energy projects continues to improve, companies are expressing greater interest in the long-term economic benefits for moving in this direction. Correspondingly, state and local governments have a vested interest in new ways to help create jobs and sustain economies.

This webinar explored some of the advances made by Southern states in recent years, the trajectory some of these Southern states have followed in the area of renewable energy development, ways in which public and private entities have worked together to promote renewable energy projects, and examples of successful renewable energy projects in the region, along with insights on some of the economic dynamics on the Southern landscape. 

  • Charlie Coggeshall, Renewable Energy Manager, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Virginia
  • Luke Wilkinson, Project Development Manager, Silicon Ranch Corporation, Nashville, TN
  • Tricia Dameron, GIS Coordinator/Research Analyst, Division of Research, Oklahoma House of Representatives
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