Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. The transition to clean transportation and clean energy is well underway and one thing that we’re most excited about is the thousands of jobs that are being created to support the transition. As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all of the benefits already going to communities as a result of the IRA.
The Inflation Reduction Act, enacted on August 16, 2022, by President Biden, is crucial legislation dedicated to curbing inflation and bolstering domestic energy production. For communities, the IRA means more good-paying jobs and economic growth, increased access to clean energy produced locally, reduced dependence on foreign energy sources, and improved air quality and public health.
The IRA provides funds for a variety of activities from increasing solar and wind energy capacity and home improvements to save money on energy to installing EV charging and reducing the upfront cost of EVs. Much of this funding aims to benefit historically disinvested communities to ensure that everyone can experience the advantages of the clean transportation transition.
Additional financial incentives are available through the IRA for clean-energy projects that are sited within “energy communities,” a community which historically exists in close proximity to oil extraction or coal mining sites, or where a certain percentage of the tax base or employment is derived from fossil fuels. Already, energy communities across the country have seen significant benefits from the IRA and we’re just getting started:
- In January 2023 Ford announced a $3.5 billion investment in a new EV battery manufacturing facility in Marshall, Michigan, which will create 2,500 good-paying jobs. Since the IRA passed last year, Michigan has announced more than 13,000 jobs.
- From just last year, West Virginia has seen 4,755 new jobs from clean energy projects. In Weirton, West Virginia, Form Energy will invest $760 million in a next-gen battery project, expected to create at least 750 jobs.
- Ohio is becoming a hub for solar manufacturing. 5,200 jobs have been created in the state since the passage of the IRA. First Solar invested $680 million to expand their solar plant in Wood County, and Invenergy invested $600 million for a new solar plant that will create 850 new jobs.
This is only the beginning. The IRA will continue to create jobs and make needed investments in communities to include all Americans in the transition to affordable, efficient and effective clean transportation and energy options.