WASHINGTON – Arizona added almost 13,000 clean-energy jobs in the past year, good enough for seventh-most among states and evidence that the state is becoming a “powerhouse” for clean energy and electric vehicle production, a new report says.
The report from Climate Power said those were part of the more than 170,000 jobs nationwide that it claims have been created in the past year as a result of private investments spurred by the August 2022 passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. That act allocates $369 billion for the Clean Energy Plan over the next decade.
“This Clean Energy Plan championed by President Biden and congressional Democrats is bringing manufacturing jobs back to Arizona in a big way,” said Claire Moser, Climate Power’s deputy executive director, during a Thursday event to discuss the report. “These jobs are both in red and blue states and they’re part of a $275 billion investment in local economies.”
The report tracks only private-sector investments that it says were sparked by the passage and implementation of the IRA, not direct investment of federal funds.
Moser said most of the new jobs in Arizona are in battery and electric vehicle manufacturing, with some relating to solar and electrical grid projects.
In addition to finishing seventh among states for the number of jobs created, Arizona was 11th for the amount of money invested since the passage of the the IRA, according to the report. And two congressional districts in the state finished near the top in those categories.
Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Phoenix, who participated in a press call on the report, said it was “awesome” to learn that his 4th District ranked fourth in the nation for the number of jobs created.
“I am personally excited to share that my congressional district in the East Valley saw more than 6,400 jobs and $1.25 billion in new investments announced since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act,” Stanton said Thursday.
While the 4th District had the most new jobs in the state, the 5th District saw the largest investments in the state. The district, represented by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, saw $5.6 billion in investments in the past year, seventh most nationwide among congressional districts.
So far, Arizona has seen more than $8.1 billion in investment for clean-energy projects, according to the report, which said Arizona currently has 13 new clean-energy projects in operation.
Moser said that all 170,000 new jobs cited in the report have moved forward as a result of passage of the IRA, and that most are at least in the hiring stage.
Suzanne Swink, vice president for government affairs at Kore Power, a battery technology developer, said the jobs created so far are just the beginning. The report quoted one Kore Power executive as saying the act gave an “incredible lift” to the company’s plans for construction of a new facility for advanced battery manufacturing in Buckeye. Swink said that will create 700 construction jobs, with another 12,150 to be created upon completion of the plant.
Jim Ge, the CEO of the American Battery Factory, said the investments spurred by the IRA will help improve outdated electric grids that currently allow up to two-thirds of energy to be released as waste during battery production.
“This transformation strengthens Arizona’s electrical grid, reducing energy waste and increasing overall efficiency,” Ge said. “The Inflation Reduction Act has been a game changer.”
In Arizona the investments are widespread, with the 12,700 jobs created spread across six of the state’s nine congressional districts.
“In Washington, D.C., you’ve heard a lot of talk over decades about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States, we actually did it,” Stanton said.