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Cost Savings and Other Economic Benefits of Shift to Renewable Energy

Study by Dr. Michael Hicks, Ball State University

According to a new study authored by Ball State University economist Dr. Michael Hicks, Indiana is in the midst of a history-making shift in fuel used to generate electricity, in large part driven by falling cost of renewables. Electricity generation from wind and solar renewable energy sources is now lower than the cost of natural gas or coal, according to the landmark study that looks at the Economic Effects of the Changing Energy Mix in Indiana.

Jobs Grow as Reliable, Renewable Energy Costs Fall

  • As renewables grow, Hoosier energy jobs will increase from 29,000 to 33,000 statewide.

  • Electricity generation from renewable energy sources is now lower than the cost of natural gas or coal.

  • In 2019, coal generation was $109/megawatt hour and natural gas was $56/megawatt hour.

  • Over the past ten years, wind energy costs fell from $135 to $40/megawatt hour.

  • Over the same period, solar energy prices dropped from $369 to $40/megawatt hour.

  • Renewable energy costs continued to decline, even as federal subsidies decreased.


Morningstar Investment forecasts a 142% growth in renewable energy by 2030, and believes “renewables will continue to grow at a similar pace without tax credits and low gas prices.”

Hicks Video Here

Interview with Study Author Dr. Michael Hicks, Ball State University

The projected economic benefits of a single
50-megawatt wind or solar project in a representative Indiana county

Renewable Energy Generation Benefits

More Hoosiers

  • The economic and jobs benefits of renewable energy will be more widespread across Indiana than current energy generation.

  • Renewable energy projects planned or underway are spread across 33 counties.

  • Coal production is mostly confined to just three counties.

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