• Steve Eberly

Renewing Indiana’s clean energy momentum

Clean, renewable energy creates jobs, attracts new businesses, and strengthens Indiana’s economy—all while protecting air and water quality, from our cities to our farmlands. As a state, we have made considerable progress to grow our renewable energy resources over the past decade, but there is still much work to do.

In our effort to promote homegrown renewable energy, we at Hoosiers for Renewables are grateful to Governor Eric Holcomb (R) for his proclamation recognizing this week as Clean Energy Week. Hoosiers for Renewables is working to help increase renewable energy options like wind, solar, biomass, and more in our state’s energy mix. The Governor’s proclamation is a step in the right direction.

Indiana is in the midst of a major energy transformation as coal-fired power plants are retired and replaced with cleaner burning natural gas ones and costs of renewable energy, like wind and solar, continue to drop. According to a study from Ball State University, electricity generated by renewables are among the lowest rates and will help bring widespread economic growth to the Hoosier State.

Over the past decade or so, Indiana has increased its share of electricity generated by renewable energy—from a little over 1 percent in 2009 to nearly 7 percent in 2019.

Much of that progress is attributable to local wind projects like the Jordan Creek Wind Farm, which I was proud to spearhead during my time as Warren County director of economic development. Renewable energy projects like this are helping to create jobs, provide additional revenue for landowners, and support local communities.

But while Indiana has certainly made progress, others are moving much faster. Iowa, for example, generates more than 40% of its electricity from renewable sources – six times more than Indiana. For the sake of our state’s workers, economy, and progress toward a cleaner energy future, we need to do even more to support renewable energy.

We appreciate Governor Holcomb’s Clean Energy Week proclamation. We also need Indiana’s 21st Century Energy Task Force to recognize that our future is dependent on a robust mix of energy sources – to strengthen our economy, keep electricity rates manageable, bring new sources of revenue to our communities, and keep Hoosiers working.