INDIANAPOLIS, November 23, 2020 — Today national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released the statement below in response to the final report released by the Indiana General Assembly’s 21st Century Energy Policy Task Force, referencing our Nov. 17 written testimony to the task force, and our 2021 policy priorities.
“We applaud the Task Force for recognizing that advanced energy offers significant opportunities for Indiana to create jobs and attract new investment, as well as the importance of standardizing requirements for siting energy resources throughout the state. However, the report is divorced from the true reality of Indiana’s energy needs today,” said Leah Rubin Shen, director at AEE. “The 21st Century Energy Task Force was supposed to provide Hoosiers with a roadmap for our energy future. Instead, the Task Force gave us a bridge to the past: a series of findings and recommendations that seem focused on locking Indiana into the energy sources of the 20th century instead of reaping the benefits of lower consumer cost, more customer control, and economic growth that would come from an advanced energy future in the 21st century.”
“Throughout the report, the Task Force questions the reliability of advanced energy resources—yet Indiana’s utilities are already moving forward with significant investments in renewable energy, energy storage, and energy efficiency today,” continued Rubin Shen. “Our state’s utilities – the companies charged with keeping the lights on – wouldn’t be making these investments if advanced energy couldn’t reliably power Hoosier homes and businesses. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has detailed processes, governed by knowledgeable experts, designed to ensure safe, affordable, and reliable electricity for Hoosier ratepayers. An additional mandate to prop up obsolete power plants, as proposed by the Task Force, is a solution in search of a problem.”
“Advanced energy is no longer a niche contributor to our energy mix,” Rubin Shen continued. “As we noted in AEE’s written testimony submitted to the Task Force, advanced energy is reliable and the most competitive and cost-effective way to meet Indiana’s energy needs today. This will become even more true in the coming years. Instead of embracing these technologies, the Task Force proposes to study them for two more years. But there is no valid reason to delay this transition. Hoosier families and businesses need lower energy costs now and Indiana's utilities need the freedom to move away from inefficient energy sources today.”
As the legislature reconvenes in the New Year, AEE urges legislators to focus on moving our energy policy forward by:
- Supporting investments in energy efficiency that will save businesses, schools, hospitals, and local governments money.
- Supporting a diverse portfolio of energy resources, including investments in renewables, energy storage, and electric vehicle charging stations.
- Avoid prolonging the use of old, inefficient, and expensive coal plants.
AEE supports policies that allow maximum flexibility for both utilities and energy consumers and that will lead Indiana into a true 21st century energy system.