The Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its updated 2009 Energy Outlook Report last Friday to assess the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), passed by Congress in January, on the U.S. energy outlook. The Recovery Act’s energy-specific provisions aim to create more than 500,000 jobs, by accelerating deployment of smart grid technology, providing energy efficiency funds for the nation’s schools, offering support for the nation’s governors and mayors to tackle their energy challenges, and establishing a new loan guarantee program to keep our transition to renewable energy on track during the economic crisis.

The EIA report shows that the recovery bill’s clean energy provisions are working. As Congress begins consideration of the Waxman-Markey clean energy and climate bill this week, the EIA report signals that America’s economy should be fueled by clean energy that will grow jobs, decrease energy costs and oil dependence, and reduce heat-trapping pollution.

The report’s key conclusions on the impact of ARRA’s energy-specific provisions versus business as usual are below:

INCREASES IN RENEWABLES: ARRA’s clean energy tax credits and loan guarantee program will result in “a significant expansion in the use of renewable fuels for electricity generation, particularly in the near-term.”

  • WIND: The recovery package doubles the amount of wind energy built by 2012 with a 67 percent overall increase by 2030
  • GEOTHERMAL: 16 percent increase in installed geothermal capacity by 2013
  • BIOMASS: 18 percent increase in biomass installed capacity by 2030
  • PHOTOVOLTAIC: 15 percent increase in commercial sector photovoltaic capacity by 2011

DECREASES IN CONSUMER PRICES: ARRA weatherization and efficiency improvements will permanently reduce consumer consumption and lower household energy bills

  • 3.4 percent drop in household heating and cooling consumption by 2030
  • 4.5 percent drop in household energy expenditures by 2028
  • 3 percent drop in commercial fuel oil consumption by 2030

REDUCES GLOBAL WARMING EMISSIONS: ARRA’s provisions promoting clean energy, greater efficiency and lower energy consumption will reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

  • 1.3 percent reduction in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2013, the equivalent of the emissions from nearly 168,000 barrels of oil.

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, expressed optimism upon reading the EIA report.

“The EIA report supports the movement in Congress to pass clean energy legislation to reduce our dependence on oil, save consumers money, and create clean energy jobs,” said Rep. Markey. “If we want a lasting and sustainable economic recovery, we must pass comprehensive clean energy legislation.”

The hearing schedule is available here.