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Meeting Corporate Demand for Renewable Energy Is Economic Boon for Indiana

Posted by Monique Hanis on Jan 22, 2020

Analysis shows meeting significant demand from commercial and industrial customers would result in $5.8 billion in investment and create nearly 25,000 jobs through 2030 from solar and wind energy development in Indiana 

INDIANAPOLIS, January 22, 2019 – Today national business association Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a new report concluding that Indiana could benefit from $5.78 billion dollars in investment and nearly 25,000 jobs if commercial and industrial (C&I) businesses had more options to procure renewable energy through their electric utilities. 

Opportunities for Meeting Commercial and Industrial Demand for Renewable Energy in Indiana,” prepared for AEE by WoodMackenzie, an independent research and consulting firm focused on the energy, chemicals, and metals and mining industries, estimates the potential demand for renewable energy from C&I companies over the next 10 years, and quantifies the economic impact of meeting that demand with development of solar and wind power facilities in the state. 

Across the country, more and more companies are choosing renewable energy to power their operations, in order to lower energy costs, protect against fluctuations in electric rates, and meet corporate sustainability goals. But currently, Indiana C&I customers have limited options to meet their needs from renewable energy projects within the state. The most promising mechanism to unlock future C&I renewable energy purchases in Indiana is through renewable energy plans offered by utilities, which could develop in-state projects taking advantage of the state’s abundant solar and wind resources. 

“Indiana has an opportunity to lower the cost of energy for businesses across the state by offering more options to purchase renewable energy,“ said Caryl Auslander, Director of Indiana AEE. “This report reveals a real and immediate need for accelerated renewable energy buildout in order to attract and retain companies in our state, generating billion dollars of investment and tens of thousands of jobs along the way.”

The report examines two scenarios – a Baseline case and a Growth case – to estimate demand for renewable energy from C&I customers in Indiana. Then the report calculates the range of economic benefits – in investment, jobs, and income – that would result from meeting this demand with in-state solar and wind energy development.

Findings of the report include:

  • Significant growth in renewable energy demand is expected from large energy users from now until 2030, ranging from 1.7 gigawatts (GW) under the Baseline scenario to 3.6 GW under the Growth scenario. 

  • If this growing demand is met, Indiana would see $229 million to $482 million a year in capital investment and over 11,500 to nearly 25,000 jobs created over the next 10 years. This includes roughly both permanent operations and maintenance jobs and temporary construction jobs.

  • Wages created by renewable energy development in Indiana through 2030 would range from $1 billion and $2.2 billion*.

“Last year, leading companies in Indiana sent a clear signal to Indiana policymakers that companies want energy to come from renewable energy,” said Auslander. “This report clearly shows that letting these companies get the renewable energy they want from their electric utilities would usher in a renewable energy boom, create jobs, and boost the Indiana economy.”

“As our state legislators consider a bailout for economically struggling coal plants, this new report demonstrates that Indiana businesses and our economy can benefit from more investment in renewable energy,” Auslander added.

*This statement was updated at 11am ET to reflect correct total wage figure for baseline case (up from $84 million to $1 billion) as properly reflected in Figure 11; this was also corrected on page 15 of the report. 

Background Resources: 

  • In August 2019, nine companies with operations in Indiana signed a letter to the Indiana General Assembly’s recently created 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force stating that they want more access to low-cost renewable resources from their utility companies.
  • Renewable Energy Offerings that Work for Companies shares six practical steps that states and utilities can take to meet large customer demand for renewable energy, with case studies.
  • Making Corporate Renewable Energy Purchasing Work for All Utility Customersand Essential Elements of Next-Generation Renewable Energy Tariffs policy briefs are here.
  • Fact Sheet: Today Indiana has 90,000 working in advanced energy, more workers than those in Auto Parts Manufacturing (64,873), nearly double those working at Schools, Colleges, and Training Programs (52,217) across the Hoosier state, and more than a 4% increase for the industry over the last year.

About Advanced Energy Economy:
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and in more than a dozen states around the country, including Indiana, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.5 million U.S. workers. Learn more at www.aee.net, track the latest news @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases