Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Chart: US climate law to spur thousands of new jobs in every state

The biggest winners from Inflation Reduction Act–driven projects will be states with plentiful wind and sun and significant manufacturing bases, according to a new analysis.
By Maria Gallucci

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Canary Media’s chart of the week translates crucial data about the clean energy transition into a visual format.

Each U.S. state could gain between 2,000 and 140,000 clean energy jobs by 2030 thanks to investments spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act, according to a new analysis by the think tank RMI. The federal law, enacted last August, dedicates $369 billion over 10 years to boost renewable energy, reduce pollution and promote environmental justice. (Canary Media is an independent affiliate of RMI.)

RMI analyzed the amount of money that could be invested in the 48 contiguous U.S. states as consumers, manufacturers and other businesses take advantage of tax credits and rebates provided by the climate law. The analysis assumes that Americans will adopt clean technologies at the pace and scale needed to meet national climate targets — including the Biden administration’s goal of reducing U.S. greenhouse emissions to 5052 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Although every state is poised to gain clean-energy jobs, many of the positions are expected to be in states with strong potential for generating renewable energy, including windblown Oklahoma and Texas and sun-drenched California and Florida. States with strong industrial bases, including Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, are also likely to see significant job growth from the manufacturing of batteries, electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbine components.

Further, RMI found that each state could secure between $1 billion and $130 billion in cumulative clean energy investments between now and 2030.

While RMI’s analysis looks to the future, a new report from the nonprofit Climate Power found that the Inflation Reduction Act is already boosting employment in clean-energy sectors. Companies announced more than 100,000 new positions between August 16, 2022 — when President Biden signed the act into law — and January 31, 2023, according to the group.

Many of those jobs will be for electricians, mechanics, construction workers and technicians. They stem from over 90 new clean-energy projects announced in small towns and larger cities across 31 states, Climate Power reported. However, seven states in particular will see the most employment action from those projects: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

What was once controversial — adopting ambitious climate and clean energy plans — is now about ensuring that the state isn’t leaving economic development opportunities on the table,” write the authors of RMI’s analysis.

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Maria Gallucci is a senior reporter at Canary Media. She covers emerging clean energy technologies and efforts to electrify transportation and decarbonize heavy industry.