Gov. Eric Holcomb: Indiana innovation is powering the great energy transition

Keywords Opinion / Viewpoint

Last May, we brought the world to Indiana by hosting our first-ever Global Economic Summit. We accomplished our mission, with more than 800 attendees from two dozen countries around the world. We showcased how Indiana is leading the way in the economy of the future by investing in innovation and entrepreneurship and building out new energy sources that will help feed, fuel and construct the 21st century, worldwide.

Just as we brought the world to Indiana last spring, I traveled to Egypt to bring Indiana to the world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties—called COP27—in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The purpose of my visit was to share Indiana’s proven results-oriented, strategic approach to managing our energy transition reliably and cost-effectively powering our homes, businesses, and economy with a cleaner energy grid than ever before.

The transition of our electric system will impact us in multiple ways. And I am proud to share Indiana’s positive energy story with the world. Energy sources remain key evaluation points in all our business development conversations throughout the state. Hoosier businesses—both international and home grown—consider energy reliability, affordability and environmental sustainability to be top factors in their decision making.

As the legislatively created 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force found in its comprehensive, four-year evaluation of Indiana’s energy policy landscape, there is a clear and ongoing transition to clean energy resources and innovative technologies. Further, the energy transition to more renewable and clean energy resources should be encouraged and managed in a responsible way to not compromise the reliability of our infrastructure and affordability of the power we depend on every day to keep the lights on.

I wholeheartedly agree and would argue we are doing exactly that. For the third time in the last six years, Indiana’s infrastructure—inclusive of our energy grid—ranked first in the nation. And not only do we have reliable infrastructure, we can also boast that we are fourth in the country in the amount of capacity of clean energy projects actively under development in the Hoosier state, behind only much larger states like Texas, California and New York.

Additionally, Indiana is planned to be home to the country’s largest solar farm under development in Starke and Pulaski counties. These investments have diversified Indiana’s energy portfolio from 80% coal in 2010 to 50% today, allowing for a diverse blend of coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind and solar to power our state. And as we rebuild and improve our infrastructure, invest and incorporate clean energy on an unprecedented scale, we continue to be nationally competitive with our energy rates, which are below the composite U.S. average.

Hoosiers are building the energy economy of the future, from the technologies that generate zero-emission electricity to the manufacturing of electric vehicles and the batteries that power them. Indiana has a rich energy story, and I was excited to sharing the message of “what’s happening in America’s heartland” to the world in Egypt.•

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Holcomb, a Republican, is serving his second term as Indiana governor.

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