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Inside INdiana Business: Job Growth Continues in Indiana Clean Energy Sector

Posted by Alex Brown on Sep 28, 2020

Inside INdiana Business covered significant growth of jobs in Indiana's clean energy sector, quoting AEE's Caryl Auslander. Read excerpts below and the full piece here.

A new report from a national public policy advocacy group for the energy sector says clean energy jobs are outpacing auto parts manufacturing jobs in Indiana. Advanced Energy Economy says Indiana had nearly 91,000 advanced energy jobs in 2019, which is a 0.3% increase over the previous year.

Caryl Auslander, director of AEE Indiana, says the number of clean energy jobs in 2020 was expected to grow by 2%, but that estimate was made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic taking effect in the U.S. Auslander says the number of jobs in the sector is about 25,000 more than auto parts manufacturing.

"This is a significant portion of our workforce here in Indiana as well as in our economy and we're thrilled to see the trends growing here in our state," said Auslander. "Indiana is a state that builds things and a state that grows things and this is very much a growing sector in our state and it's just showing that customers, companies are really making the move towards more advanced energy options here in the state of Indiana."

Auslander cites Hoosier utility companies such as Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and Vectren in Evansville, which are closing coal-fired plants and making more investments in clean energy options, including wind and solar.

"Just with those two utilities alone in our state, there's an expected savings of over $4 billion," she says.

However, the advanced energy sector, like many other sectors, is feeling the effects of COVID-19. Auslander says the job growth in Indiana for 2020 could be affected.

"There have been significant losses of advanced energy jobs across the country...just like many other sectors of the workforce. We were pleased that Governor Holcomb signed an executive order early on during the crisis that stated that advanced energy jobs were considered to be essential and so we did not feel as much of the impact but still, there is a trickle-down effect."
 With the pandemic causing budget constraints for local and state governments, Auslander says advanced energy options are becoming more crucial.

"It's really significantly important that we are spending those limited resources and limited dollars wisely and so it's really important that advanced energy really be given a shot to be looked at moving forward because it is very cost competitive and its clean and it's helping create new jobs."

She says the fact that the advanced energy sector includes many high-wage, high-demand jobs - which the state is always looking for - will be a key point in growing the sector in the Hoosier state.

Read the entire Inside INdiana Buisness piece here.

Topics: United In The News