Pursuing a portfolio of renewable power sources such as solar, biomass and wind power to satisfy Virginia's energy appetite through 2035 would create tens of thousands more jobs than relying on either coal or natural gas, a George Mason University study concludes.
The study released Wednesday was prepared for Virginia Conservation Network, a coalition of environmental groups and proponents of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.
George Mason's Center For Regional Analysis based the study on the 2010 Virginia Energy Plan, which projected a need for an additional 19,448 megawatts of demand over the next 25 years. Half of that demand can be met through biomass, solar and wind, offshore and onshore, the study concludes.
Nathan Lott, executive director of the Conservation Network, said the study illustrates that renewable energy can be competitive with fossil fuels. "This is important for regulators and utilities that must plan today for a safe, reliable electricity system 20 and 30 years into the future," he said.