California is proving that investment in green technology can certainly pay off.

The non-profit group, Next 10, reports that California’s goal to be more energy efficient continues to be extremely beneficial to both the state’s environment and economy.

According to reports done by the group, California’s policies and programs towards energy efficiency have created 1.5 million full-time jobs with a total payroll of more than $45 billion and have saved $56 billion on energy costs.

Future economic growth in green technologies will be driven by environmental initiatives, such as AB 32, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s global warming solutions act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 2020 and 80 percent by 1990 levels in 2050.

Next 10 reports find that by achieving 100 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets mandated by AB 32, the Gross State Product would jump $76 billion, increasing household incomes by up to $48 million and creating 403,000 new jobs.

You can read a full report of David Roland-Holst’s  “Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California.”

F. Noel Perry, venture capitalist and founder of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Next 10., told the Sacramento Business Journal:

“As the country moves quickly to put an economic stimulus package in place, California’s experience with energy efficiency and clean technology is instructive. If California had not moved as forcefully to decrease energy consumption over the last three decades, we would be in a much more precarious economic position right now. Imagine where the country could be if it were as efficient as California.”