During the next four years, KEMA’s projection anticipates that a potential disbursement of $16 billion in Smart Grid incentives would act as a catalyst in driving associated Smart Grid1 projects that are worth $64 billion. The impact of these projects would result in the direct creation of approximately 280,000 new positions across various categories, of which more than 150,000 will be created by the end of 2009. Furthermore, we estimate that nearly 140,000 new direct jobs would persist beyond the Smart Grid deployment as permanent, on-going high-value positions.
The indirect jobs, while more difficult to quantify, are substantially larger. Smart Grid is universally understood to be the key enabling technology for the nation's ambitions for renewable energy development, electric vehicle adoption, and energy efficiency improvements.
In the absence of Smart Grid investments, many more hundreds of thousands of jobs in these related sectors will either be deferred or not created due to the inability of the electric infrastructure to incorporate these new technologies. Smart Grid is to the electric energy sector what the Internet was to the communications sector and should be viewed and supported on that basis.