Georgia Leading Nation in New Clean Energy Projects, 19 Projects Totalling 39k Jobs, $13B in Private Investments

Staff Report

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Large-scale clean energy projects announced in Georgia in just the first year of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are projected to create or support almost 39,000 jobs and generate tens of billions of dollars in new wages, tax revenue, and economic growth, according to a new economic analysis by BW Research for the national nonpartisan business group E2. The analysis was released in conjunction with the Georgia Clean Economy Summit in Atlanta, hosted by E2, the Georgia Solar Energy Association, Black Owners of Solar Services and the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Georgia Clean Economy Works: An Economic Impact Analysis of Major Clean Energy, Vehicle Projects modeled the direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits created by 19 clean energy and electric vehicle projects announced across Georgia between August 2022-August 2023. When completed, the analysis found that these projects would:

  • Create or support 31,800 jobs during the construction phase and 6,800 jobs after the projects are up and running;
  • Add $13.9 billion to Georgia’s Gross State Product (GSP) during construction and $926 million annually to the GSP over their operational lifetime;
  • Generate $10.2 billion in wages for workers during construction and and $565 million annually during operation; an
  • Generate $2.6 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues during the construction phase and $175 million annually during operation.

While the analysis only covers 19 projects announced in the first year of the IRA, at least seven other major clean energy and clean vehicle projects directly connected to the landmark federal policy have been announced since then, according to E2’s research. That makes Georgia the nation’s leader in IRA-related clean energy and clean economy projects.

The Georgia report is based on E2’s national analysis of the jobs and economic benefits created by projects directly tied to the clean energy investments and incentives passed in the IRA. That report found that nationwide, 210 large-scale clean energy projects announced in the first year of the IRA would create or support more than 400,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars in new wages to the nation’s economy.  While the construction industry and its supply chain will see the biggest benefits, other sectors ranging from healthcare and hospitality to retail trade and real estate will also benefit greatly.

E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe said:

“Even if you don’t drive an electric vehicle or have solar panels on your roof, you’re benefiting from the game-changing clean energy projects now sprouting up across Georgia made possible by the IRA.

"These factories are bringing record new investments and jobs into Georgia directly, but they’re also generating new revenues, jobs and business for other Georgia companies, from construction companies and suppliers to retailers, restaurants and real estate firms.”

U.S. Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) said:

“I’ve long said policies that are good for our ecology are good for our economy, and we can protect the planet and create good-paying jobs at the same time. That’s why I’ve been proud to champion legislation that has helped cement Georgia as one of the nation’s fastest-growing states for clean energy jobs,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I’m thrilled that E2, and organizations like it, are playing an important role in ensuring the Inflation Reduction Act benefits every corner of the Peach State.”

Cai Steger, Director of Policy Research at BW Research said:

“This report shows that the economic benefits of this surge of clean energy projects are not only far-reaching but will last long after they’re built.

 “When new clean energy factories and thousands of new jobs come to a community, they bring with them more money and more demand to feed a growing local supply chain – benefitting everyone from local small businesses to public schools and police departments that are funded through tax revenues.”

According to the analysis, announced electric vehicle (EV) factories are poised to deliver the biggest economic benefits, creating or supporting 15,700 jobs and adding $1.4 billion to Georgia’s GSP every year for five years during construction. The battery storage sector was second with 8,400 jobs and $740 million added to the GSP every year during construction followed by solar energy with 7,600 jobs and $670 million added to the GSP.

Once the plants and facilities are up and running, EV factories are expected to create and support 3,300 direct and indirect jobs and generate $385 million in economic activity every year for the life of the projects. The battery storage sector was second with 1,800 jobs and $248 million added annually, followed by solar energy with 1,700 jobs and $290 million added every year.