My name is Theresa Garcia Robertson and I am Executive Director for Conservatives for Clean Energy Georgia. In the Southeast, we have organizations in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, with other states to be added later this year. Our mission is to improve the lives of Georgians through more cost effective and cleaner energy. We will work to promote free markets, more competition and a diverse portfolio of renewable energy sources to enhance our quality of life and to provide for our security.
Renewable Energy is good for our economy. In 2017, Georgia added more than 4,000 jobs to our economy through our expanding solar industries, and we are top 10 in the U.S. for clean energy jobs and solar production. Our large tracts of flat, sun-drenched land, favorable business climate, and low interest rates, have made Georgia the perfect home for the solar industry. Since the Public Service Commission started to expand solar in 2012, prices have plummeted from roughly 17 cents per kilowatt to just around three cents per kilowatt. We are also the number one exporter of biomass in the world and our biofuel industry is projected to add $5 billion to our economy over the next decade.
Renewable energy enhances our quality of life. Our environment, clean air and water, are vital to preserving what is great about Georgia. We believe that it is self-evident that our citizens want and expect a higher standard of living. By embracing clean energy, we can do more to provide a better standard of living for our citizens and embrace a truly conservative approach to the environment. In a recent poll we conducted, nearly 80% of Georgians support the increased use of clean energy to improve our quality of life through cleaner air and water.
We want to say thank you to Chairman McDonald, Commissioner Echols, Commissioner Eaton and all of the PSC staff for their vision in making Georgia a leader in renewable and clean energy. Chairman McDonald and Commissioner Echols have been tireless supporters of a market approach to expanding clean energy. Despite protests to the contrary, we want to commend you for an approach with no subsidies and no renewable portfolio standard. The Public Service Commission has made Georgia a model for a balanced approach to expanding solar and renewable energy. You have done it the conservative way, reducing barriers and increasing incentives to lower prices, attract businesses, and create more jobs. We commend Commissioners Shaw and Pridemore for your service to Georgia, and look forward to your contribution to this important process.
We also want to thank utility and clean energy industry voices for their role in making Georgia a leader in renewable energy. We look forward to working with our fellow stakeholders to continue to expand Georgia's clean energy economy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and commissioners, for your time today and your service to our citizens. We believe your efforts here will have a lasting impact on Georgia.