Smart grid deployment could generate 280,000 new U.S. jobs


Katherine Hamilton,
GridWise Alliance
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 8, 2009 – The deployment of smart grid technologies in the United States can be expected to create up to 280,000 new jobs over the next four years, with more than half of these being created during the coming year, according to a new report from the GridWise Alliance.

The report, authored by KEMA, Inc., finds that with a rapid advancement in the approval and commencement of projects more than 150,000 jobs should be created by the end of 2009 and will spur the remainder by 2012. Furthermore, it is estimated that nearly 140,000 new direct jobs should persist beyond the smart grid deployment in the six years to 2018 as permanent, on-going high value positions.

KEMA’s projection anticipates that a potential disbursement of $16 billion in smart grid incentives would act as a catalyst in driving associated smart grid projects that are worth $64 billion in the period 2009 to 2012. These in turn would spawn both direct jobs as well as many more indirect jobs.

Categories of jobs that are expected include direct utility jobs created by smart grid programs (48,300 jobs), external installation and service contractors (19,000 jobs), direct utility smart grid equipment suppliers, including meter and other system and service providers (117,700 jobs), suppliers to the direct utility suppliers (79,300 jobs), and new utility/ESCO jobs emerging from the new smart grid business models (25,700 jobs).

In addition, other jobs would be created in industries related to the utility sector whose business will be accelerated by the adoption of smart grid devices. These include renewable energy source suppliers, distributed generation suppliers of products and services, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle providers.

“We know first-hand that a smart grid allows our electric infrastructure to be more reliable, resilient, and secure,” said Katherine Hamilton, president of the GridWise Alliance. “A smart grid will enable a transformed electric supply sector and related job creation, incentivize a strong domestic market for U.S. smart grid technology firms, and create high value permanent positions in the energy economy.”