We often mention the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act here at EarthTechling as it relates to clean energy initiatives around the country. One thing we’ve been curious about – exactly how much money has gone towards these types of projects since the Act debuted? As part of President Obama’s speech on Saturday in which he unveiled that the Department of Energy is awarding nearly $2 billion in conditional commitments to two solar companies, an accompanying fact sheet [PDF] provides some interesting Recovery Act details.
Turns out the Recovery Act thus far has invested over $90 billion in clean energy alone, which the government believes could produce as much as $150 billion in related projects. More than two thirds of these investments are specifically supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transit projects. Other billions have been put towards projects such as advanced batteries and electric vehicles ($2.4 billion), smart grids ($4.5 billion) and $5 billion for home weatherization. All total through the first quarter of this year nearly $40 billion has been thus far obligated and over $9 billion paid out.
On the clean energy job sector front, more than $3 billion has been put towards training and innovation. This has thus far translated into more than 80,000 new clean energy jobs in the first quarter of this year alone. An additional 20,000 jobs were supported also. And, in what shows a significant shift towards a more green economy, it is believed that by 2012 there will be over 700,000 new clean energy jobs created.
“Already, I’ve seen the payoff from these investments,” said President Obama in his speech. “I’ve seen once-shuttered factories humming with new workers who are building solar panels and wind turbines; rolling up their sleeves to help America win the race for the clean energy economy.”