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Study: Clean energy will stimulate Calif. economy

"Study: Clean energy will stimulate Calif. economy(By Jason Dearen via MercuryNews.com)SAN FRANCISCO—A more aggressive use of clean energy would help California
emerge from its multibillion dollar budget deficit by creating jobs and
lowering energy costs, according to a University of California study
released Wednesday.The study determined that moving half of California's electric power needs
to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or biomass would help
create half-a-million jobs over the next 40 years.David Roland-Holst, a UC Berkeley economics professor and the study's
author, predicted aggressive state legislation meant to curb greenhouse gas
emissions would create an enormous new clean energy market and spur
innovation to better harness renewable resources.""It's an irresistible opportunity for the next breakout in technology,""
said Roland-Holst. ""California will deliver a market, mandating a standard
which will compel energy users to adopt technology in same way fuel
efficiency standards forced people to buy new cars.""Roland-Holst said his study is the first to use a wide-ranging economic
forecasting tool developed at UC Berkeley to study the potential effects of
clean energy on the entire California economy.The study looked at several different scenarios of renewable energy use in
California over the next four decades.If the state were to continue with its current energy demand and reliance
on fossil fuels, the study predicted, California would have to import more
fuel, exposing the economy to lessOn the other hand, using clean sources
for half the state's electric power while increasing efficiency by 1.5
percent each year would create 500,000 new jobs with a $100 billion
payroll, the study found.The speed with which California and the nation can meet these aggressive
clean energy goals was part of a debate Wednesday in San Francisco between
Chevron Corp. CEO Dave O'Reilly and Carl Pope, executive director of The
Sierra Club.Both men agreed that renewable energy will play a major role in the
country's future, but had very different timetables for reaching clean
energy goals. The debate was organized by The Commonwealth Club.O'Reilly said he does not believe clean energy sources will allow the U.S.
to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 20-25 percent by 2050. Pope
said he believes emerging and still undiscovered renewable energy
technologies will allow for an 80-90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions by the same year.""I disagree that renewables can replace a fossil fuels-based economy,""
O'Reilly said. O'Reilly said he believed that reduction needs to occur, but
believes a lower amount of energy will come from renewables, and that more
will be derived from natural gas, or nuclear power.Meanwhile, a separate study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts on
Wednesday showed that the nation, led by California, was already seeing the
economic benefits of an emerging clean energy industry.The Pew study found that the U.S. clean energy industry created jobs at a
rate faster than overall job growth between 1998 and 2007. In California,
clean energy created jobs at a rate of 7.7 percent during that time
compared to 6.7 percent for jobs overall.Roland-Holst said California's passage of AB32, also known as the Global
Warming Solutions Act, has created the environment for a booming clean
energy industry. The law seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the
state 30 percent by 2020.For the very latest in renewable energy jobs please click herePresident Barack Obama has said he wants the U.S. to derive 25 percent of
its power from renewable sources by 2025. Congress is currently mulling
legislation that would put a national clean energy requirement in place for
all electrical utilities."