How Michigan can capitalize on the clean energy boom

How Michigan can capitalize on the clean energy boom

Making meaningful investments to update our country’s outdated energy grid isn’t just good climate and public health policy – it’s bringing good paying jobs back to Michigan.

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) historic $369 billion in climate funding, Michigan and states across the country have the opportunity to invest in clean energy projects that will create thousands of good-paying jobs – and we are already seeing these investments paying off. 

Since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and signed last year, more than 100,000 jobs in the clean energy industry have been created. These jobs are a direct result of the almost $90 billion that has already been invested out of $369 billion in tax credits made available through the IRA. 

And this is just the beginning. 

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the clean energy industry is poised to employ 38 million people by 2030. This means hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs will be created in states across the country as we transition to a carbon-free economy. 

In Michigan, these federal dollars are already being put to use. More than 30 grants have been awarded to Michigan communities and companies since the IRA’s passage for clean energy infrastructure development; clean transportation initiatives including electric school and city buses; and more. Along with large-scale clean energy projects, IRA funding and clean energy legislation in Michigan will allow for the expansion of community and rooftop solar projects. By increasing access to solar energy at the residential level, we can further decrease carbon emissions and pass energy and cost savings directly to Michigan energy consumers. 

A map of grants funded by the IRA already awarded for clean energy, transportation and infrastructure projects in Michigan.  

In addition to clean energy infrastructure, the Inflation Reduction Act is incentivizing electric vehicle manufacturing and Ford has already begun to take advantage of available tax credits and creating jobs in Michigan. When Ford decided to build a new EV battery plant in Marshall, Vice President of EV Industrialization Lisa Drake stated the Inflation Reduction Act allowed Ford to keep those jobs in the United States. The Ford Marshall plant will create 2,500 direct jobs and spur local economic growth by creating other jobs in sectors, like entertainment and construction.

These grants and projects have the potential to accelerate the much-needed transition to a clean energy future, combat climate change, lower costs for families and create good-paying jobs. To achieve this, we must increase the scale of our efforts and available IRA funding, combined with state-level legislation, can help us get there. 

Clean energy infrastructure projects and EV manufacturing facilities are just the beginning of what the IRA’s funding, grants, and tax credits can go towards. The IRA includes significant funds for building and home energy efficiency upgrades to make our homes safer and reduce our electricity bills. Importantly, the IRA is designed to ensure that these upgrades are happening in overburdened communities that are already struggling with unsafe air quality and unaffordable energy costs.  

The opportunities created by the Inflation Reduction Act come as Michigan’s legislature is prioritizing clean energy investments and job creation as well. Thanks to available federal funding and state surpluses, Michigan’s state budget is poised to include the largest investments in our environment, clean energy and jobs in state history. In tandem with clean energy legislation in the state House and the Michigan Senate’s Clean Energy Future Plan, Michigan is on a path towards becoming a national climate leader and reap the benefits of the clean energy boom. 

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