"The Treasury Department's $9 billion renewable energy grant program supported as many as 75,000 jobs each year it was available, according to a new report from the Department of Energy that counters Republican criticism of the grant-in-lieu-of-tax-credit effort."
"Known as the 1603 program, the popular effort allowed renewable energy developers to claim a one-time cash payment instead of the usual tax credit. It expired last year, prompting the Obama administration to urge its renewal.
But Republicans have used the program in their narrative of an administration that has failed in its clean energy investments, linking it to the DOE loan guarantee program that gambled $535 million on the failed Solyndra solar energy company. Last month, the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked DOE and Treasury for information about the precise number of jobs the 1603 program has created.
The new report -- produced by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- concludes that the 1603 grants helped create between 52,000 and 75,000 jobs per year from 2009 through 2011. Most of those were indirect jobs through supply-chain industries like manufacturing; the report attributes 9,400 to the direct design, development of construction of grant-funded projects."
Emily Yehle reports for Greenwire April 9, 2012.