Renewable energy: What lies ahead for Missouri’s energy mix?
The Missouri Division of Energy is developing the state’s first comprehensive energy plan, which is set to take effect May 31, 2015.
The plan was proposed in response to new energy regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency that focus on reducing carbon pollution and lean toward renewable and sustainable energy sources. In order to meet the new Clean Power Plan (CPP) guidelines, Missouri will have to change how and where it gets its energy, from gasoline to electricity.
There are two types of goals set by the CPP: interim goals to be achieved from 2020 to 2029, which rely on an average, and a final goal that must be met by 2030. The current state plan requires renewable energy sources increase by an average of 6 percent a year and result in at least 3 percent of the state’s energy portfolio by 2030.
The latest Environmental Entrepreneurs’ (E2) report ranked Missouri at the top of a list of states in the creation of clean energy jobs for the fourth quarter of 2014.
Out of the 47,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs created across the country during the year, Missouri announced 600 for the quarter. In quarter one, the state announced 449 new jobs and was ranked No. 4 by E2.
California-based solar power company Sungevity Inc. announced the creation of 595 jobs in its new downtown Kansas City sales and service center in November. The company plans to fill the positions within five years.
Since 2012, Missouri has added 3,700 clean energy and transportation jobs, with 70 solar companies support 2,800 employee positions. According to an E2 factsheet, “clean jobs” in Missouri on average pay $4,000 more than the state’s median wage.
Not only is clean power creating jobs, but it is saving money for businesses. E2 estimates investments in energy efficiency could save Missouri businesses $183,000,000 in 2020.