US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visits Georgia
- On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will travel to Locust Grove, Georgia, to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to strengthening and modernizing America’s electric grid to reduce the impact of climate-related extreme weather events – and natural disasters while ensuring the reliability of the energy sector.
Strengthening the Georgian economy
- In 2022 already existed 203,319 Georgia workers employed in the energy sector. 54% of the power generation workforce was in wind, solar and hydropower, and over 55,000 workers were employed in energy efficiency. The Inflation Reduction Act expands these opportunities, bringing Georgia an estimated $180 million in investments in large-scale clean electricity generation and storage by 2030.
- Georgia is home to 1.2 million small businesses, accounting for 99.6% of all businesses and employing 42% of all workers in the state. The Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit of up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that result in lower utility bills. Other programs that benefit small businesses include tax credits that cover 30% of the cost of installing low-cost solar energy and purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
Investing in clean energy
- Currently, Georgia has over 3.9 GW of solar, wind and storage capacity. Over 1.3 GW of additional clean energy capacity is planned in the state, powering more than 192,000 homes.
- Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar energy will help reduce energy costs, as the cost of solar and wind energy is expected to increase by 22% and 34%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Georgia will sink.
- Since the start of the Biden administration, the DOE has tracked more than $150 billion in new battery and electric vehicle supply chain investment announcements, including a whopping 24 facilities in Georgia, totaling over $29 billion and over 23,000 jobs .
- During the same period, the DOE tracked more than $5 billion in new solar production investment announcements, including more than $2.8 billion in Georgia. When these new facilities are built, the state will add over 4,100 new jobs.
- Georgia currently has over 4,400 electric vehicle charging ports. The state will also come by $28.7 million Federal funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law to support the construction of more charging stations for electric vehicles.
- There were 70,400 registered electric vehicles in Georgia in 2022, a 107% increase from the 34,020 vehicles in 2021. Drivers who switch to an electric pickup could see a savings $1700 per year Fuel and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller electric cars could save significantly $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and simpler For many, it’s cheaper to buy an electric vehicle, with upfront rebates of up to $7,500 for new electric vehicles and up to $4,000 for used electric vehicles, helping many Americans skip the pump and save on fuel costs.
Invest in Georgia’s communities
- Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy last year provided more than $121 million to Georgia’s state and local governments for investments in energy efficiency and grid stability.
- Solvay Specialty Polymers in Augusta, GA 178 million dollars from DOE to build a new battery production facility to support electric vehicles and grid storage markers. This facility will supply materials for more than 5 million electric vehicle batteries per year.
- The Southern States Energy Board, based in Peachtree Corners, GA, received 21 million dollars to study and build solutions for transporting and storing carbon dioxide throughout the American Southeast.
- A partnership was formed between Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Georgia Tech University and Kennesaw State University $3.75 million from DOE to establish a Southeastern Center of Excellence under the Industrial Assessment Centers program. The center will draw on these universities’ internationally recognized expertise in energy management and industrial electrification.
- Georgia Tech University was designated an Industrial Assessment Center $1.4 million from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to help small and medium-sized manufacturers save energy, improve productivity and reduce waste.
- Georgia Tech received 1.5 million dollars to research improvements in the recycling of solar modules.
Saving Georgians money on their home electricity bills
- DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $38.1 million in Georgia since 2015, resulting in 713 jobs and over 4,400 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
- Upgrading appliances and improving the energy efficiency of homes could save a total of 12,500 GWh of energy in Georgia, enough to power 578,000 Georgia homes.
- Georgia will receive nearly $219 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Georgia could save an average of 41% on their energy bills through this program by upgrading their appliances and improving energy efficiency.
- The IRA includes grants to help state and local governments implement the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new Georgia homeowner 15.1% on utility bills. That’s $327 per year.
Prioritizing Georgia’s rural and underserved communities
- Georgia has three community networks that are part of the Rural Partners Network and represent Georgia’s agricultural industry, which employs one in seven Georgians.
- The Biden Administration is committed to advancing justice for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure that federal agencies receive at least 40% of the total benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water and other investments deliver to disadvantaged communities. DOE has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
- The City Schools of Decatur, Georgia, won $100,000 in the first round of the Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable Schools Prize (Energy CLASS Prize), which will help them reduce energy costs and improve indoor air quality.
- Ayika Solutions is working with DOE and organizations in Atlanta and Savannah to evaluate how solar energy and storage can support the economic mobility of high-energy communities.
- Groundswell Community Power, Partnership for Southern Equity, the Atlanta University Center Consortium and Spelman College worked with the DOE to develop plans for microgrids in the Atlanta University Center and a neighboring energy-stressed community. This project improved community resiliency and helped inspire local communities and HBCU students about renewable energy and community resiliency.
Current DOE funding opportunities can be found at: www.energy.gov/infrastructure