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Future Employment Projections for Electric Vehicle and Solar Growth in PA

Duquesne Light
Economic Resilience

Duquesne Light Company is a leader in the transmission and distribution of electric energy, offering superior customer service and reliability to more than half a million customers in southwestern Pennsylvania.

New legislation proposed in the state of Pennsylvania would create more opportunities to expand solar energy and the electrification of transportation. The challenge is that many residents and legislators do not fully appreciate the potential economic benefits from the transition to solar power and electric vehicles. In addition, Fourth Economy researched the expansion of transportation electrification related to the growth in EV ownership, EV charging stations, and the EV manufacturing supply chain. Fourth Economy developed a series of infographics and brief reports that summarized the impacts. In addition, we developed an interactive story map related to EVs in Pennsylvania.

Our Approach

Fourth Economy researched the impacts of solar projects in the state of Pennsylvania. Using the JEDI models from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we estimated the job impacts from the location of solar projects in a community and what benefits it would provide in terms of jobs for residents and income for landowners. In addition, Fourth Economy researched the expansion of transportation electrification related to the growth in EV ownership, EV charging stations, and the EV manufacturing supply chain. Fourth Economy developed a series of infographics and brief reports that summarized the impacts. In addition, we developed an interactive story map related to EVs in Pennsylvania.

The Results

Fourth Economy analysis demonstrated the various impacts that solar is having and the economic potential:

  • The solar sector is providing stable, high-paying jobs which grew by 8% from 2017-2019.

  • 2,600 to 3,000 new jobs are created with every 100 MW of solar added

  • Solar projects are also providing income to the State’s farmers in the form of lease payments.

The report also profiles in straightforward ways how Solar projects benefit communities and examples of specific solar developments.


Fourth Economy also profiled the growth of electric vehicle use in the Commonwealth. EVs are on the rise in PA with a 151% increase from 11,347 in 2017 to 28,460 in February 2021. Supportive policy can ensure that residents and businesses fully realize the benefits of this market transformation. Proposed legislation targets expanding electrification infrastructure by 50% above the forecast for 2030. This means we need enough infrastructure for 1.8 million EVs by 2030.


We also found that:

  • Advanced Energy Economy estimated that EV Manufacturing in Pennsylvania supported 4,400 jobs in 2019, as many jobs as natural gas extraction. This added more than $430 million in gross state product comparable to sporting goods stores in the state. The report identified 151 EV Manufacturing suppliers (see samples below), and an additional 540+ companies that could be retooled for the EV supply chain.

  • EV manufacturing supply chain jobs are projected to grow 24% between 2019 and 2024, compared with 3% growth across statewide employment over the same timeframe.


These findings are being shared with the various legislative committees that can be supportive of the solar and electric vehicle industries.

Location

Pittsburgh, PA

Project Type

Impact Analysis

Client Type

Energy Company

Scale

City