By Mary Kuhlman
A clean-energy economy will benefit the environment and the wallets of Indiana residents, according to a new report by NextGen Climate America.
Nationwide, the group says an economy built on clean energy would create more than one-million jobs by 2030 and double that number by 2050.
Daniel Lashof, NextGen's chief operating officer, said states such as Indiana will see manufacturing growth, but the largest job gains will be in the construction sector.
"In the Midwest region, that includes Indiana, over 70,000 additional construction jobs by 2030, and as many as 180,000 additional construction jobs by 2050," said Lashof. "Those are good, quality jobs."
Potentially, he predicts clean energy would boost employment in the region by more than 200,000 jobs in 2030 and as many as 400,000 by 2050.
Lashof said the report also notes a boost to economic output, with growth from clean energy increasing an average household's monthly disposable income by $650 over the next 35 years.
"We see that in every region, including the Midwest," he said, "that as we're making these investments, creating more good-paying jobs, the average income per household is also increasing."
While the report indicates momentum is building to move toward clean energy, much more is needed, he added.
"What we don't yet have is a national commitment that will really guarantee that we continue to make the investments at the level that's required to complete the transition to a completely clean energy economy by mid-century," said Lashof.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Indiana ranks 27th in the country for electricity generation from renewable energy.