A critique of NREL's JEDI modeling

Economist Dr. Robert Michaels explains the flaws with NREL's JEDI modeling when evaluating the job creation and economic impacts of building renewable energy facilities.

This testimony makes and documents three basic points:

1 No matter what numerical data is input into NREL's model, the only result it can possibly produce is that renewables result in job creation. With job creation its only possible finding, the model is valueless for evaluating any claims about either job creation or job destruction. NREL is well aware of this weakness, but continues using this model despite the availability of less-flawed alternatives.

2 NREL's claim that its method is "traditional" is insupportable, and its model is in no sense a typical tool for analyzing job creation. Its primary author was not an economist, and the model has no foundation in the peer-reviewed economics literature. Its structure and findings have also not been presented in refereed economics journals, despite abundant opportunities for NREL staff to present them to the economics profession.

3 Despite its use in analyzing numerous renewable projects, NREL has produced no publicly available studies that compare its predictions of job creation with the actual outcomes of those projects. There are good reasons to expect that the model's predictions will in fact be far off the mark.

2010 Hr Michaels Supplemental Testimony Final

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JUN 28 2010
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