Report highlights advanced energy as an economic driver in Tennessee, source of high quality jobs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee’s advanced energy sector is a lucrative growth sector and a source of high quality jobs, according to the Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, released today by the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC). TAEBC is a new organization that champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy.

The report is the first document of its kind that defines the scope and scale of Tennessee’s advanced energy sector and quantifies its economic impact. It identifies the number of jobs, contribution to state GDP and state/local taxes and number of companies associated with the state’s advanced energy sector.

“Because advanced energy is a relatively new and emerging industry, there was no comprehensive inventory of the economic activity that falls under the advanced energy umbrella for Tennessee – until now,” said Tom Ballard, President of TAEBC and Chief Alliance Officer at Pershing Yoakley & Associates. “The report shows that Tennessee is a national and international leader in this rapidly growing, $1.3 trillion global marketplace.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Advanced energy is a rapidly expanding and lucrative growth sector in Tennessee. Nearly 325,000 jobs are supported by 17,334 firms in the state’s advanced energy sector in 2013.
  • Advanced energy requires skilled labor and thus is a source of high quality jobs in Tennessee.
    The annual average wage of a worker in advanced energy was $48,764, which is well above the state average.
    Advanced energy provides a home for our emerging workforce as we drive to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by 2025.
  • Tennessee manufacturers benefit from a robust advanced energy sector.
    Especially Tennessee’s automotive manufacturers that are integrating advanced energy technologies into their processes and products as a result of higher fuel economy standards. Automakers must reach a fleet average of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
  • Advanced energy contributes significantly to our state and local economies.
    Tennessee’s advanced energy sector contributes $33.4 billion to state gross domestic product, while workers in the advanced energy sector pay more than $820 million in sales tax to state and local governments.
  • Advanced energy represents an opportunity to promote rural economic development.
    Currently, almost 80 percent of advanced energy activity is centered in just 20 counties in Tennessee. Davidson County leads Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.
    Rural Tennessee could benefit from further growth in advanced energy activity.
  • Tennessee is not the only state vying for a piece of the advanced energy economy. Highlighting our assets and opportunities will provide Tennessee with a competitive edge in the recruitment and retention of the advanced energy sector.
    Approximately 11 states including Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida are benchmarking and tracking their advanced energy economies.

“Advanced energy” is defined as any technology that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure and more efficient. Rather than favoring specific technologies, advanced energy is technology neutral. Examples include electric and plug-in hybrid cars, lightweight composites for the automotive industry, natural gas fueled trucks, pollution control equipment, bio energy, high-performance buildings, more efficient industrial processes, power reliability, smart grids, combined heat and power and the latest power generation technologies.

The report identified 62, four-digit NAIC codes and County Business Pattern data to provide the most granular information about the state’s advanced energy economy from 2013. Included in the report are advanced energy economic impact data by metro area including: Nashville, Memphis, Clarksville, Knoxville/Oak Ridge, Tri-Cities, Chattanooga, Jackson and others.

Advanced energy business leaders from across the state discussed the economic impact of advanced energy in Tennessee during a press conference call to release the report findings. Representatives from Schneider Electric, Oak Ridge National Lab, Renewable Algal Energy, Memphis Bioworks Foundation and Signal Energy Constructors highlighted how their companies are engaged in this $1.3 trillion global market.

“The global energy sector is changing rapidly and these changes are rippling through all sectors of the economy in increasingly visible ways,” said Jim Plourde, National Business Development Manager with Schneider Electric and TAEBC board member. Schneider Electric employs approximately 1,500 people in Middle Tennessee, focused on energy engineering, product development, manufacturing and global business management.

“Schneider Electric has seized these global market opportunities through continuous innovation in solutions built on the pillars of energy efficiency, reliability, security, and safety,” added Plourde.

Research for the Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report was conducted by The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and funded by the University of Tennessee’s TN-SCORE initiative, The Energy Foundation and members of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council.

Click here to read the full report.

About the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council
The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) champions advanced energy as a job creation and economic development strategy. It educates public officials and business leaders about the value and job creation potential of Tennessee’s advanced energy economy, establishes strategic partnerships to connect assets with opportunities, and informs policy that expands and strengthens the industry. For more information, visit http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/

To view a list of our members, visit http://www.tnadvancedenergy.com/members/

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