In the 25 weeks since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law, the U.S. clean energy market has added 101,036 new employees, according to a weekly report titled the “Clean Energy Boom” by Climate Power, a for-profit communications and media platform comprised of members of the Solar Energy Industries Association, the DC Green Bank, League of Conservation Voters, and various other agencies and personalities.
The IRA boosted investment in wind, solar, energy storage and the EV markets, including domestic manufacturing of battery components and solar modules. The Climate Power report indicates that its momentum has spurred clean energy companies to hire electricians, mechanics, construction workers, technicians, support staff and other roles across 31 U.S. states,
As of January 31, 2023, Climate Power says there are more than 90 new clean energy manufacturing projects in rural towns and large cities, representing an aggregate of $89.5 billion of new investments into the renewable energy market.
To boost the sourcing of domestic battery manufacturing, there have been 40 new battery manufacturing sites announced in places such as Tucson, Ariz., Van Buren Township, Mich., and Florence County, South Carolina.
The EV market meanwhile is expanding vehicle and battery integration manufacturing capacity, with new facilities located in Pryor, Okla., Montgomery, Ala., and Highland Park, Mich.
Further upstream, about 24 companies shared plans to expand solar and wind project equipment manufacturing in seven states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Driven partly by certainty created by the IRA and its incentives to build a domestic clean energy future, American companies restored closed to 350,000 manufacturing jobs in 2022, marking a 25% increase from 2021, a fact cited by President Joseph Biden on his “State of the Union” address earlier this week.
A recent analysis by the BlueGreen Alliance and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst projects that the IRA will create more than 9 million new clean energy and climate-related jobs over the next decade.
Here are a few highlights from Climate Power with statewide initiatives:
Meyer Burger previously put plans for a 400 MW solar factory on hold when the Build Back Better Act collapsed in Congress, but has since relaunched the project thanks to the IRA’s passing. LG Electronics and KORE Power also have construction efforts under way in Arizona, which to date has announced seven projects emanating from IRA incentives. According to the report, $4.15 billion in new renewable energy projects and 11.6k jobs have trickled into the state since passage of the IRA.
Freyr Battery announced plans to put a new battery Gigafactory in Coweta County, Georgia, while QCells and Hyundai Motor Group revealed plans to invest $2.5 billion and $9 billion respectively into a new solar module facility and EV battery plant in the southern state. In total, a whopping $15.3 billion in new investments and 16.6k jobs have been announced for the Peach State.
The IRA is helping the historic capital of the automotive industry see a green future, with companies revealing $7.2 billion in new investment in the Great Lakes state and 9.6k new jobs in the six months since the IRA passed alone. Another 167,000 clean energy jobs are projected in Michigan for the next decade. Flo, an EV charging company, launched its first U.S. manufacturing facility to date in Auburn Hills, Mich. and plans to deploy 250k chargers across the U.S. while creating 133 jobs this year.
Since the IRA passed, Tesla is resuming construction on its $3.5 billion Gigafactory in Nevada, with production capacity of 105 GWh of EV battery cells and 150 GWh of energy storage batteries. With $3.8 billion of new investments in the state and 3.4k jobs announced in the six months since the IRA passed, the desert state has achieved its goal of becoming the “Silicon Valley of Lithium.” An additional 40k clean energy jobs are forecast over the next decade.
Besides being fertile ground for utility and DG solar development, several new technology plays invested about $4.2 billion into North Carolina’s clean energy future recently. Toyota Motor revealed plans to expand an EV battery facility in Liberty, N.C. with a new $2.5 billion investment, bringing its total investment into its Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina facility to $5.6 billion. The facility will produce batteries for hybrid electric vehicles and EVs, and employ 2.1k manufacturing and assembly workers.
A staggering $10.9 billion of new investment and 11.75k clean energy jobs have been pumped into Tennessee, with a particular focus on advanced battery manufacturing and EV charging. Numerous companies like Piedmont Lithium ($600 million), Novonix Anode Materials ($1 billion), LG Chem ($3.2 billion), Ford Motors ($5.6 billion) and Tritium revealed plans to open facilities around the state since the IRA passed.
The adage “everything is bigger in Texas” still applies to incentives stemming from the IRA. The state ranks sixth in Climate Power’s list of top funded states, with $5.14 billion of new clean energy investments, and 2.6k of new jobs. While the state stands close to overtaking California for energy storage project development, the passage of the IRA has prompted numerous manufacturing investments in the Lonestar State as well. Tesla ($770 million), SK Signet, Air Products and AES ($4 billion) are among the companies that announced EV facilities as well as green hydrogen production. In solar, GAF Energy is building a $100 million solar shingle factory, while SEG Solar, Mission Solar and OCI made similar announcements for production facilities.
The Climate Power coalition creative council and advisory board includes activist and actress Rosanna Arquette, Debra Messing, Piper Perabo, actress/singer Zooey Deschanel and musician Questlove of The Roots.
Click here to access the full Climate Power report.
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