“When you build a factory, you hire manufacturing workers and you are investing in a long-term project,” Bernstein said. “That’s not a monthly or quarterly investment. That is for the long-haul.”
Some of the incentives are federal, included in several large packages that provide billions of dollars in new spending as well as tax credits. Some incentives are statewide, including support for worker training and tax advantages. Some are local, like the $700 million in property tax breaks to Rivian for its plant east of Atlanta.
The DOE report was released in the days before an Atlanta visit by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who is touring the country touting the Biden administration’s economic and environmental policies.
“The reality is, on the ground, you now have a policy where you can manufacture things in America again,” she said Wednesday during an event co-hosted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia Tech.
“Clean energy jobs increased in every state,” according to the report.
Nearly 300,000 jobs were added, bringing the sector to more than 8.1 million positions by the end of last year in technologies from wind to solar to grid modernization, according to the report. “Employers across all technologies report they expect growth,” it said.
Georgia, in the midst of dramatic investment in plants that will build electric vehicles and batteries, is on track for a surge in coming years.
Georgia currently ranks 16th among states with 80,710 clean energy jobs, according to the Department of Energy.
That puts the state far behind the leaders, especially California, which has more than a half-million clean energy jobs, and Texas, which has a quarter of a million. Georgia is 16,000 jobs behind Number 11 Virginia, but is fewer than 700 jobs from the Number 12 spot.
In the past two years, makers of electric vehicles and their suppliers have announced more than 40 projects in Georgia totaling more than 28,400 announced jobs and $22.7 billion in anticipated investment, according to the state Office of Economic Development.
Hyundai Motor Group is currently building a $5.54 billion EV factory near Savannah. Electric vehicle startup Rivian plans a $5 billion factory east of Atlanta. (Cox Enterprises, which owns the AJC, has about a 4% stake in Rivian.)
Various suppliers for the production of vehicles and batteries are also expanding in Georgia.
States with most clean energy jobs, end of 2022
New York 171,377
North Carolina 105,151
Source: U.S. Department of Energy