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Clean energy journalism for a cooler tomorrow

Charts: Which states will benefit most from the Inflation Reduction Act?

The climate law has sparked a wave of clean energy manufacturing investment and job creation, mostly in the Southeast’s burgeoning Battery Belt.
By Maria Virginia Olano

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(Patrick Pleul/Getty Images)

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

President Biden’s marquee climate legislation has triggered a wave of announcements of planned new clean energy manufacturing facilities in the U.S. — but the benefits of this boom are not flowing evenly across the country.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s subsidies for domestic clean energy manufacturing, makers of EVs, solar panels, wind turbines and batteries have unveiled plans over the last year to invest billions of dollars in factories that would employ thousands of people. As of this August, more than 100 new facilities or factory expansions had been announced, totaling nearly $80 billion in new investment.

The projects are currently planned for 27 states, but they’re concentrated in a handful of states, and mostly clustered in the so-called Battery Belt that is emerging in the Southeastern U.S.

Georgia is the runaway leader in attracting new clean energy manufacturing facilities. With more than $18 billion in investment spread across 19 different battery, EV and solar manufacturing projects, the state has won more than a fifth of all new clean energy manufacturing investments. Two big battery projects account for much of Georgia’s lead: Hyundai and SK have announced a joint investment of up to $5 billion for an EV battery facility, and Hyundai is also partnering with LG Energy Solution to invest $4.3 billion in another EV battery plant.

More than 70,000 new jobs are expected to be created at the clean energy factories announced since the IRA passed. Employment generated by the clean energy boom has the potential to reshape political support for these industries; many of the districts poised to see the most job growth are represented in Congress by Republicans, none of whom voted for the Inflation Reduction Act.

Unsurprisingly, Georgia is also at the top in terms of expected new jobs, with a total of more than 11,000 clean energy manufacturing positions projected to be created in the state in the next few years. The Hyundai-SK joint venture alone has announced 3,500 new jobs, and two Qcells solar manufacturing plants are together expected to create 2,500 jobs. Michigan comes in second with over 9,000 new jobs, mostly in new EV battery plants and EV assembly facilities.

Some of the clean energy manufacturing projects announced over the past year have not included information about the size of investments or the number of jobs expected to be created, meaning the tallies we have so far — which already demonstrate transformational change — are likely underselling the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Maria Virginia Olano is editorial producer at Canary Media.