The Alternative Energy Committee has proposed a series of zoning amendments targeted at attracting green energy investments in Dennis. The zoning proposals include ones to promote the use of green energy by consumers, the production of that energy locally, and the ability to create the facilities that will generate the green energy. The combination provides the town with the ability to take advantage of all aspects of the future of renewable, green energy.
For Dennis it is hoped that these changes will allow residents to save money on their energy needs, as well as to promote new employment opportunities. The belief is that there will be opportunities to improve the local economic situation as people who are saving on lighting or heating and cooling their home may have more disposable income to spend in the local economy. In addition, the ability to attract companies that produce these green energy alternatives will bring new job opportunities to the town.
There has been much discussion of the job impact potential for green energy. The largest discussion has focused on whether there will be real job creation or simply job relocation. This is an interesting discussion on the national level and you can read about that here. On the local level the manufacturing of green energy equipment will clearly be a new employment opportunity. As it is considered a high-technology employment sector, there will also be the creation of jobs targeted to bring many of the Cape’s college graduates back home. In addition, an increased use of alternative energy equipment by home owners will open up new markets for local contractors to install turbines or solar panels. This will either give them work during the current economic slow down, or will allow some local contractors to add positions. Either one is a benefit to the local economy.
The bottom line is, the President wants to double the use of renewable energy within three years. This will result in a tremendous public investment, one that is included in both the Economic Recovery Stimulus package and in the currently proposed federal budget (see this CNN article). The State of Massachusetts has also taken similar positions (see here). The Alternative Energy Committee proposals for Town Meeting will give the town a strong ability to take advantage of the flow of both state and federal monies that may become available for green energy and green jobs. Thus Making Dennis Energy Smart.