News Release

Utah’s economy benefits from a large and changing energy industry

February 11, 2020 (Salt Lake City) – The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute today released a study that shows Utah’s energy industry supports 76,425 jobs, contributes $9.4 billion in gross domestic product, and pays $4.3 billion in earnings into the Utah economy. These significant impacts, along with Utah’s relatively low energy prices, occur at a time when rapid advancements in technology and a global energy revolution are spurring new opportunities for renewable energy. Electricity generation from renewables in Utah increased five-fold since 2008, making Utah the fifth-largest producer of utility-scale solar electricity in the United States.

“Energy is fundamental to the functioning of a modern economy,” said John Downen, deputy director of economics and public policy at the Gardner Institute. “It enables every production process, whether of goods or services, and facilitates practically every human endeavor. By understanding the diversity and economic impacts of our energy economy, we can be better prepared for the future as transitions in energy trends and technologies continue.”

While 2017 coal production in Utah was 40% lower than in 2008 and the share of fossil fuels in electricity generation shrank from 98% to 86% over the same period, electricity generation from renewable sources increased fivefold. In 2017, Utah was the fifth-largest producer of utility-scale solar electricity, accounting for 4.1% of U.S. solar generation.

“Too often when we talk about Utah’s nation-leading economy we fail to recognize the major contributions of Utah’s energy industry, including energy companies, leaders, workers, and counties,” said