How investments in renewable and efficient resources could bring thousands of jobs to the TVA region
The Tennessee Valley region is facing a potentially transformative moment as the Tennessee Valley Authority plans to close its remaining coal fired power plants by 2035.
In our report, “Save Energy, Grow Jobs: How investments in renewable and efficient resources could bring thousands of jobs to the TVA region,” we examine the total jobs that would be created if TVA committed to consistent goals and investments in energy efficiency over a 14-year period. We also compared jobs outputs in TVA’s plans to convert the retiring Cumberland Fossil Plant to methane gas against three clean energy portfolio alternatives.
Our examination determined that if TVA committed to a goal of reducing energy sales by 1% each year via energy efficiency, an average of 1,816 direct, full-time jobs and 3,603 indirect and induced full-time jobs would be supported each year over a 14-year period. Meanwhile, total electricity savings between now and 2035 would amount to more than 19.1 million megawatt-hours.
We find that in the analysis of alternatives for the Cumberland Fossil Plant, the clean energy portfolios we considered would create an average of 739 direct, long-term jobs and 4,489 direct, temporary jobs for the Tennessee Valley. This figure is in stark contrast to TVA’s currently preferred gas alternative for replacing the plant, which would produce just 25 to 35 long term jobs and only 1,000 temporary jobs.
Among other recommendations included in the report, Appalachian Voices calls for TVA to select a clean energy portfolio for replacing the capacity at the Cumberland plant. We also call on TVA to set a commitment of reducing energy sales by a minimum of 1% each year via energy efficiency.