An updated report from the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) says the energy sector is so strong in Tennessee that it outperforms the state’s overall economy, employing nearing 360,000 Tennesseans in more than 18,000 businesses that contribute almost $40 billion to the state’s GDP.

The 2018 study, titled “Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report,” is an update on the member-based organization’s 2015 inaugural study. Some of the key findings include:

  • Advanced energy accounts for nearly 14 percent of total state employment.
  • Employment in Tennessee’s advanced energy sector has grown by 10.3 percent, while the state economy overall has seen a growth rate of 8.3 percent.
  • The number of advanced energy business establishments in the state grew by nearly five percent.
  • Both state and local sales tax revenues have increased by over 30 percent.
  • Workers in the state’s advanced energy sector earn an average wage of $59,665, significantly higher than the state’s economy-wide average of $44,317.
  • Tennessee’s advanced energy sector contributes approximately $823 million to state sales tax revenue and approximately $289 million in local sales tax revenue.
  • The Nashville metro area is the largest contributor to Tennessee’s advanced energy sector, employing more than 115,000 workers.

(Originally published:

“Advanced energy” is a part of many developing fields, but a new report says it’s time for it to come into its own in Tennessee.

It’s already big in and around Knoxville, where Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Valley Authority help make this area third in the state for high-paying advanced energy jobs.

Advanced energy should become a “targeted industry cluster,” a focus for business recruitment and economic development, according to the report from the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at UT. The report was sponsored by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.

Originally published:

Business leaders say advanced energy technology is the future of Tennessee. A recent report by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council said the cutting-edge technology associated with renewable energy sources will “enhance the state’s economic development, attract companies to locate and expand in-state and most importantly, create high-quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

Matt Kisber, a former state commissioner of economic and community development, is president of the council. He said the organization was created to advocate for advanced energy businesses like his own. Kisber is president and co-founder of Silicon Ranch Corp. which owns and operates solar power arrays across the United States.

Earlier this month, Kisber was at a groundbreaking for a 41,000-panel solar farm his company is building in partnership with BrightRidge and the Tennessee Valley Authority on 40 acres in Washington County.

“Renewable energy is one asset, but we are also talking about related technologies,” Kisber said last week. “What are businesses like FedEx doing to use renewables and reduce its carbon footprint? It’s as Fred Smith (the founder of the worldwide parcel delivery service based in Memphis) once told me, FedEx is really an information and technology company that delivers packages.”

Originally published: Johnson City Press