Research Feature - April 2023

Do Renewables Create Local Jobs?

Natalia Fabra, Aitor LacuestaOpens in new window, Eduardo Gutiérrez and Roberto RamosOpens in new window

Abstract. We investigate whether investments in renewable energy – solar and wind plants – create jobs in the municipality where they are located. Using 13 years of monthly data, we exploit the variation in the timing and size of investment projects across more than 3,200 municipalities in Spain, a country with substantial investments in this area. We use a new estimator for staggered differences-in-differences analysis that extends the local projections approach with clean controls (Dube et al., 2022). We find strong heterogeneity in the magnitude and pattern of the impacts of solar and wind investments. On average, solar investments increase employment by local firms, but the effects on the unemployment of local residents are weak. The effects of wind investments on local employment and unemployment are mostly non-significant. These findings have important implications for public policy. Click here File PDF: Opens in new window (153 KB).