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Clean energy jobs in Indiana bounce back from 2020 slump

A machine installs a glass sun roof on an electric car at a Tesla factory.
Steve Jurvetson
A machine installs a glass sun roof on an electric car at a Tesla factory.

Indiana lost some of its clean energy workforce in 2020, but those numbers rebounded and even grew last year. That’s according to the green business advocacy group E2’s annual Clean Jobs Midwest report.

It shows jobs in sectors like energy efficiency, renewables, and clean fuels grew by nearly 7 percent in Indiana. That's up from 2020, where the state lost nearly 3 percent of its clean energy workforce.

Most of that growth was driven by the advanced transportation industry — like manufacturing hybrid and electric cars.

Natalie King is the founder and CEO of Dunamis Charge — which manufactures electric vehicle chargers in Detroit.

“We wanted to tap into a workforce that we knew was skilled and experienced in creating the best in the automotive industry," she said.

READ MORE: Biden's plan for more power lines could bring more reliable, renewable energy to Indiana

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Like Michigan, Indiana is one of the top states for auto manufacturing.

E2 Midwest States Advocate Micaela Preskill said with funding from legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act, Indiana and other states have the opportunity to create thousands more clean energy jobs in the coming years.

“There’s never been more stability and certainty in the market. Clean energy companies know that they can and should set up shop and stay here in the U.S. and the industry is destined to grow," Preskill said.

To take full advantage of that funding, the report said Indiana should develop workforce training programs and clean energy policies. Indiana’s goal to get to 10 percent clean energy by 2025 is voluntary and much lower than several other states.

The report said regional electric grid operators also need to expand transmission lines to allow for more wind and solar energy on the grid.

Contact reporter Rebecca Thiele at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Rebecca Thiele covers statewide environment and energy issues.