renewable energy

Advanced Energy Job Sector Growing in Indiana

Sep 5, 2019

The national business group Advanced Energy Economy is reporting a 4 percent growth in Indiana jobs last year. That means more Hoosiers than ever are working in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

courtesy Purdue University

Duke Energy officials say the company will install its first field of solar panels on a university campus in Indiana when it puts 7,000 photovoltaic cells in Purdue University’s Discovery Park.

Duke spokesman Lew Middleton says the panels could generate enough power to run more than 200 homes, though he says the electricity generated will be distributed to the wider grid and will not necessarily stay in the Greater Lafayette area.

“The ease of incorporating the solar energy into the grid is something we’re always taking a look at,” Middleton says.

Duke Energy released its 20-year plan this week — including hopes to retire some of its coal plants early. But environmentalists say the utility isn’t keeping up with the faster trend toward renewable energy. 

Indiana ranks 14th for asthma-related deaths in the U.S. In 2016, there were about six times as many tick-borne illnesses in the state than there were a decade before. Health experts say rising temperatures are making these issues and others worse — and it’s time the U.S. addressed them. 

Wind turbines sit on farmland surrounding a home
Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

West Lafayette will not adopt a ban on large wind turbines going into effect in Tippecanoe County. The city council voted against the ordinance this week.

The ordinance prevents turbines over 140 feet in the county, and county commissioners say it’s to keep the land free for economic development. They have repeatedly said the ban isn’t a statement against renewable energy or environmentally-friendly technology.

But City Council President Peter Bunder disagrees.

“It’s also about environmental energy. And it’s - it’d be difficult to separate those,” Bunder says.

Duke Energy is holding the country back from making a faster transition to renewable energy. That’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group. It says Duke has focused on coal and natural gas, while neglecting to add many renewable energy sources. 

Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) wants a two-year moratorium on new power plants while the legislature and utility regulators help craft a comprehensive energy plan for the state. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Republicans in a House committee this week voted to largely halt new power plants in Indiana for the next two years.

The moratorium’s architect says he wants to ensure the state’s energy future is balanced.

A group of evangelicals in Indiana wants the state to expand wind and solar energy. The Evangelical Environmental Network delivered more than 21,000 signatures to Gov. Eric Holcomb Wednesday demanding 100 percent renewable energy in the state by 2030. 

Wind turbines sit on farmland surrounding a home
Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Wind energy is a growing industry in Indiana, but not every community is receptive to the development. Tippecanoe County is working on a proposal to ban wind farms, and Montgomery County is in the midst of an intense debate over two proposed farms.

Eight organizations rallied at the statehouse Wednesday for policies that support renewable energy in Indiana. 

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