Indiana Primed to Be a Renewable Energy Hub For America

Indiana Quarter

Today, NRDC released the report, "A Clean Energy Economy for Indiana: Analysis of the Rural Economic Development Potential of Renewable Resources".  The report shows that Indiana is poised for a major clean energy job creation boom, which would be a plus for the Hoosier State, particularly for the struggling rural areas in the state.

This concise report contains helpful maps and tables that summarize just how great this opportunity truly is for Indiana (see table below). 

Summary table

A recent number of green job and clean energy resource potential studies have been published that take a "top-down" research approach.  What sets this report - and similar report we did for Missouri - apart is the meticulous detail and open transparency provided on how the research and calculations were conducted by lead author Martin R. Cohen.  In my opinion it is a true "bottom-up" analysis of Indiana's renewable energy potential.

Below is an excerpt of what I provided to the press at a teleconference earlier today (or you can listen to the 30-minute recording including lead auther Martin Cohen and other ag-economy stakeholders here):

And the job opportunity impacts extend beyond Indiana's rural economy as well. Gary is a steel town, and a shift to renewable energy means jobs security for local workers. It takes more than 250 tons of steel to make just 1 single wind turbine (Frances blogged about this on her visit to Indiana this summer).

Comprehensive clean energy & green jobs legislation such as American Clean Energy and Security Act passed out of the U.S. House of Rep. and the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act recently introduced by Senators Boxer and Kerry in the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee represent the necessary overarching framework that our nation needs to sustainably grow these promising renewable energy industries to take advantage of the vast potential of renewable resources our country is blessed with.

But Indiana can progressively move ahead with developing its clean energy economy without solely relying on federal clean energy legislation and other national-level incentive programs like the $50 billion funding made available for new clean energy projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (this information provided in the report).  We encourage the State to pursue an aggressive statewide renewable portfolio standard that includes only clean and truly renewable energy resources.  29 States and D.C. have moved forward with these policies and are seeing dramatic growth in their renewable energy industries. Indiana also has excellent potential for energy efficiency, which is the cheapest and quickest way we can meet the climate challenge; NRDC works with many electric and gas utilities throughout the country to develop policies that make efficiency and renewable energy development a profitable enterprise that helps the environment and saves customers money.