Report: NC at ‘forefront’ of clean energy transformation which could mean more jobs, investment

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North Carolina is at the “forefront” of transforming the economy into one driven by clean energy, the summary of a new economic development report concludes.

And because of the state’s position as a leader in clean energy potential, as well as its existing and future workforce of workers prepared to earn good wages working in clean energy jobs, the report from the Economic Development Partnership of North Caroilina notes that North Carolina could continue to attract major investment from companies driving the clean energy economy of the future.

That includes automotive suppliers, who may wish to locate in the state to support the future VinFast and Toyota manufacturing plants, or other firms along the electric vehicle supply chain, from lithium ore companies through automotive, aircraft, or watercraft manufacturing.

“North Carolina leads the United States in taking bold steps to address climate change and rising energy costs,” the report, published on Thursday, reads.

That includes deepening the concentration of the electric vehicle supply chain, but also in diversifying the state’s energy resource mix and its systems, the report notes.

That’s perhaps why SmartAsset ranked North Carolina tops in the nation for renewable energy leadership.

But there’s even more potential across the state, including in wind energy, as the state was ranked first among all states along the east coast for its wind energy potential in a 2010 study.

Already, the report notes, “North Carolina boasts three offshore wind energy areas designated by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), two of which have been leased for development to date.”

And Amazon Web Services contracts with a provider that operates a 104-turbine wind farm near Elizabeth City to power its cloud data centers, the report highlights.

More companies plan to use renewable energy to power their facilities in the state, including Apple, which is in the early stages of building out its RTP campus and east coast hub facility that will use 100% renewable energy sources, and Toyota, which plans to use all renewable energy to manufacture its batteries for its electric vehicles at the selected location in Randolph County where it will build its plant.

A statement from the EDPNC, which authored the report, highlights that more than $8 billion in capital investments have been announced in the prior two years within the clean energy sector.  And the companies that plan to build in the state are expected to hire “tens of thousands of new jobs,” the statement notes.

“This trend of clean energy jobs is very intentional,” reads a quote from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper contained within the report.  “I think companies are taking notice of this, that clean energy is going to be a part of our concentration, that we want them here and that’s going to help us create our own supply chains.”

Already, too, the state’s strategic economic development planFirst in Talent, highlights the importance of preparing workers for roles in the clean energy sector.  In August 2022, North Carolina A&T State University received a $23.7 million grant from the United States Department of Commerce to create and launch a clean energy workforce training program.

And that’s just a start, as the report highlights other programs that have been or will soon be launched to support workforce development.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire