Across the country, the race is on to build, manufacture, and deploy clean energy and clean technology—and new analysis from the Center for American Progress makes it clear that the Inflation Reduction Act provided a big boost, especially in Republican-represented and lower-income districts. In this column, CAP debuts new data on clean technology manufacturing and deployment investments by congressional districts and identifies a few early leaders.
The data are from the Clean Investment Monitor (CIM) of Rhodium Group and the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. The datasets track public and private investments in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and include information on announced and actual investments at the state, company, technology, and announcement date levels, among other variables. CAP will showcase progress and new announced and actual investments by congressional district on a quarterly basis, as new data become available.
Download the full datasets here. For greater detail on individual projects receiving public and private investments across congressional districts, visit CAP’s “Biden Administration Investment Tracker,” which has information on more than 35,000 projects and funding recipients under the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Investments flow to disadvantaged communities at higher rates
One year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, more than $200 billion has been put toward the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in the United States. The Inflation Reduction Act’s climate incentives have been instrumental in accelerating the flow of funds to states to deploy zero-carbon technologies such as solar, wind, electric vehicle batteries, and energy storage, with the goal of transitioning the nation away from fossil fuels. These investments will reduce energy costs, reduce pollution, and increase access to new, high-quality jobs in the manufacturing sector, especially when paired with apprenticeship and training programs and other intentional policies. Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, more than 211,000 jobs have been created across 45 states and Puerto Rico, 120,573—57 percent—of which were announced in Republican-represented districts.
Recently, there have been significant, concentrated investments in energy, disadvantaged, and low-income communities—that, for energy communities, total up to nearly double the share of the national population residing within them. In the year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, energy communities—in which 18.6 percent of the national population resides—received 36.8 percent of clean investment; disadvantaged communities, with 32.7 percent of the national population, received 44.5 percent of investment; and low-income communities, with 38.5 percent of the national population, received 40.5 percent of investment. Many climate- and energy-burdened households across the United States belong to more than one of these categories, which means they often face climate-related impacts compounded by systemic racism and socioeconomic status. Continuing this distribution of investments can help ensure that the tangible benefits of the nation’s clean energy transition are realized in its most underserved communities.
Congressional districts that have received the most funding reflect the broader trend of Inflation Reduction Act investments flowing to economically disadvantaged communities and Republican-represented districts.
Congressional districts that have received the most funding reflect the broader trend of Inflation Reduction Act investments flowing to economically disadvantaged communities and Republican-represented districts. As shown in Table 1, the top 10 congressional districts by amount of Inflation Reduction Act-related funding received are disproportionately Republican-represented—also noted by a 2023 ClimatePower analysis—and the majority of them have lower median incomes, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainment when compared with the national average.
Compared with the national average, most of these congressional districts have lower levels of educational attainment and median household income, as well as a higher share of the population living at or below the national poverty level. Six of these 10 districts have a higher share of individuals with median household incomes below the national average income level, and 7 out of 10 have a higher share of individuals living at or below the average national poverty level. Half of these districts have a smaller share of individuals, compared with the national average, who have graduated high school or have a higher level of education. The majority—8 out of 10—of these districts have a smaller share of individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher compared with the national average. The demographics of these congressional districts follow the broader trend of clean energy investments flowing at a higher rate to economically disadvantaged communities.
Investment in clean technologies and materials is growing rapidly and has increased since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Investment in clean technologies and materials is growing rapidly and has increased since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Over the past year, companies increased investment in clean energy production by 41 percent, increasing to $150 billion announced in the year since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, up from $107 billion announced during the same time period the year before its passage. In Q2 2023, investment in the manufacturing of greenhouse gas-reducing technologies totaled $13.6 billion, which is five times larger than the average quarterly investment two years before the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, and 26 times larger than the average quarterly investment three years before its passage. New clean energy project announcements that have occurred since the passage are expected to become actual, on-the-ground investment in the coming fiscal quarters and expand current trends of significant clean investment occurring in disadvantaged communities.
Project spotlights from congressional districts with the highest actual investments
Dozens of policies in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act are driving an American manufacturing renaissance in zero-emission vehicles, batteries, and critical minerals. These include projects in Arizona’s 5th congressional district, where LG Energy has invested $5.5 billion into an electric vehicle battery manufacturing complex; Georgia’s 12th congressional district, where Aurubis has invested $340 million into a multi-metal recycling and smelting facility; and Nevada’s 2nd congressional district, where Redwood Materials has invested $3.5 billion in battery materials production—just a few of the many new projects highlighted in the “Biden Administration Investment Tracker” that are unfolding across congressional districts in manufacturing, energy, and industry.
Inflation Reduction Act-incentivized investments demonstrate geographic diversity
As shown in Table 2 there is significant geographic diversity in the distribution of congressional districts investing heavily in clean technologies. Nine out of the top 10 congressional districts in wind energy investments are Republican-represented, while 7 out of the top 9 districts in conventional hydroelectric investments are Democratic-represented. This diversity reflects more recent growth trends in renewable energy capacity and generation across all states, particularly in the wind and solar sectors. Overall, both Republican- and Democratic-represented congressional districts have invested in clean technology types, including storage, zero-emission vehicles, and batteries, among others.
Announced investments mirror actual investment trends
Eight of the top 10 congressional districts for both announced and actual investments are Republican-represented. Similar to the distribution of districts’ actual investments in clean technologies, the figures below show a mix of Democratic- and Republican-represented districts that have announced billions of dollars’ worth of investments in clean technology. Congressional districts in California and Texas account for a large share of announced investments.
The difference between announced and actual investment
Announced investments are estimates of a facility or project’s total value, as provided by the project developer. Actual investments are estimates of construction expenditures to date. Actual investments are the real-time expenditures that occur as a facility is constructed, whereas announced investments are estimated sums across the entire construction period.
While announced investment indicates company intent and signals clean technology projects on the horizon, actual investment demonstrates on-the-ground progress and current economic impacts for communities where investment is actively occurring.
Republican-represented congressional districts currently lead the United States in actual and announced clean technology investments, spurred by the Inflation Reduction Act. The benefits of these investments nationwide—including the creation of more than 211,300 clean energy jobs, reduced energy and fuel bills, enhanced economic competitiveness, and pollution reduction—will give communities across the country greater financial and climate resilience. Though no Republican House members voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, their congressional districts stand to benefit most from the law’s climate and clean energy provisions, which are increasing private spending in clean technology deployment and manufacturing. Still, there has been sizable growth in investment in and deployment of clean technologies and new jobs across the country, and the diversity and magnitude of clean energy projects across the United States exemplify the importance of protecting the tax incentives and investments of the Inflation Reduction Act and ensuring the nation’s progress in domestic production and deployment of clean energy.
All investments are rounded in 2022 U.S. dollars. Investments in congressional districts are calculated by totaling estimated investments in the announced and actual data sets between fiscal quarter 3 of 2022 and fiscal quarter 2 of 2023, which captures investment between the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and June 2023. District totals of announced and actual investments are calculated by adding all projects within a given congressional district between quarter 3 of 2022 and quarter 2 of 2023. During this time period, 34.7 percent of actual investment came from projects announced after the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage. The CIM uses current congressional district definitions for all plants and quarters and does not track redistricting changes through time. It instead shows a time series of investments that have happened within the current congressional district boundaries. This is the case for all congressional district assignments.
CAP’s investment calculations, both announced and actual, are based on data from two of three primary “segments” within the CIM: “Energy and Industry” and “Manufacturing.” Congressional district data at the “Retail” segment level are not available. CAP’s analysis of congressional district investments by technology includes zero-emission clean technologies as well as inputs including batteries, critical minerals, electrolyzers, fueling equipment, solar, storage, wind, and zero-emission vehicles. It also includes two “Other” subcategories, conventional hydroelectricity and geothermal. Demographic data for Table 1 are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 survey. For further information on investment categories and definitions, see the CIM methodology.
The author would like to thank CAP’s Shannon Baker-Branstetter, Will Ragland, Ryan Koronowski, and Trevor Higgins; Michael Delgado and Hannah Hess of Rhodium Group; and Lily Bermel and Lisa Hansmann of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research for their review and contributions.