Last week, Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEEI) and the Virginia Advanced Energy Industries Coalition (VAEIC) released a new report, “Assessing Virginia’s Energy Future,” which measures the employment outcomes of two potential Clean Power Plan (CPP) compliance strategies that the Commonwealth might consider. The topline finding is quite simple: Virginia could create thousands of permanent and temporary construction jobs by implementing the CPP, and double the number of jobs if the Commonwealth chooses to pursue a goal it has considered for a long time – producing within the state all the electricity needed to power the Virginia economy, instead of importing nearly 40 percent from out of state. It will be up to Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly to choose which course to take.
VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT IMPACTS BY YEAR; ENERGY IMPORT REDUCTION SCENARIO
Green area: New advanced energy job years; Red area: Job years lost
The two scenarios examined in the report are “Diversified Portfolio” and “Import Reduction” pathways. Both options are built on a baseline established by the state’s investor-owned utilities via the Integrated Resource Planning process. Even the plans submitted by the utilities have old, inefficient coal-fired power plants retiring, based on economic factors. These retirements will get Virginia much of the way to the emissions target set by the EPA in its proposed plan.