A nonpartisan business group, Environmental Entrepreneurs, estimates that 403,000 jobs will be created by 210 major energy projects announced since the Inflation Reduction Act came into effect in 2022. This act provided $500 billion for spending to lower health care costs, increase taxes, and encourage clean technology innovation in the U.S. The sector expected to see the most significant job growth is electric vehicles, which represented 58% of the investments and is anticipated to support 185,700 jobs annually for five years.
Major Energy Projects to Generate Over 400,000 Jobs
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 could stimulate the creation of approximately 403,000 jobs, according to estimates by nonpartisan business group, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). E2 reports that since the Act’s implementation, 210 major energy projects have been announced, representing around $86 billion in investments.
The IRA, signed in August 2022, injected $500 billion in federal spending to lower healthcare costs, increase tax revenues, and combat climate change. It incentivizes clean tech companies to innovate and manufacture in the U.S., leading to anticipated job growth within the electric vehicles (EV), battery storage, and solar energy sectors.
Clean Energy Jobs Surge with Inflation Reduction Act
“The IRA has spurred the largest economic revolution in generations, primarily in the clean energy sector,” stated E2 executive director, Bob Keefe. EVs lead sector investments, contributing to 58% of the total and are set to support 185,700 jobs annually for the next five years. The battery storage and solar sectors are expected to sustain 48,000 and 35,000 jobs respectively for the same period.
Indirect job creation is also notable. For instance, lumber mills are hiring more staff due to increased demand for construction materials, and new factory workers are boosting business for local restaurants.
Government Support Crucial for Clean Energy Success
Form Energy, a company committed to creating 750 jobs in its battery factory in Weirton, W.Va., by 2028, attributes its rapid scaling to state and federal government support. As CEO Mateo Jaramillo explains, “We would not be progressing at this rate without the IRA.”
CEO of Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Christopher Chung, highlighted the significant increase in clean technology investment in the South due to bipartisan federal legislation. Chung also emphasized the role of community colleges in partnering with private companies to generate local training programs and job opportunities.
Challenges Ahead in Clean Energy Labor Transition
Despite robust investments in clean energy, labor shortages in construction, manufacturing, and electrical work persist, according to Thomas Kwan, director of sustainability research at Schneider Electric. Other potential obstacles include complex permitting processes for clean energy projects and critical mineral supply chain issues.
Joseph Kane, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, suggests that state and local leaders must focus on workforce development, as many are unaware of job opportunities in clean energy or lack access to relevant training.
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