According to a recently released report from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “It is well-established that clean investments grew meaningfully after the IRA passed. But we find that clean investments grew especially quickly in ‘Energy Communities,’ areas with a history of fossil fuel production, where clean industry potential exists but opportunity has been scarce.”
The funds flowing to energy communities mean massive investments in good jobs, workforce development, clean water, broadband, and environmental cleanup. It should be recognized, however, that there is far more work to be done to ensure nobody is left behind. For our part, here are just a few of the 2023 bright spots where the Energy Communities IWG acted to help make a difference.
In 2023, the Energy Communities IWG:
- Facilitated more than $6 billion in federal funds to energy communities across the country. That brings total dollars awarded to energy communities since 2021 to $20 billion. Funding opportunities and related resources from across the federal government can be easily browsed and accessed in one online location at energycommunities.gov/funding.
- Brought people together. Senior officials from the White House and across the federal government are deeply engaged in convening people to help drive much-needed federal and private-sector investments to create and retain high-quality jobs and spur long-term economic revitalization. The Energy Communities IWG held more than 15 events and workshops (both in-person in energy communities and virtually) with thousands of stakeholders to listen to their needs and offer actionable advice with tangible resources.
- Launched Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). This year, the Energy Communities IWG deployed RRTs in Eastern Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Appalachian Ohio to understand the unique needs of communities and to reduce barriers to meeting those needs. This support includes everything from identifying relevant funding opportunities to market studies, site-specific analysis, grant logistics, and more. These latest RRTs join three others in the Four Corners region, the Illinois Coal Basin, and a pilot in Wyoming. Stay tuned, as more RRTs will launch in 2024.
- Created a “Navigator” service. The Navigator service helps people navigate the complex grants process across the federal government. It features a dedicated team of experts who are easily reachable by phone and email to answer questions and connect energy community stakeholders with federal agency partners and other resources related to grant assistance, infrastructure, and workforce development.
- Published a “Getting Started Guide.” This step-by-step guide was created to help coal and oil-and-gas workers and their communities start the process of planning or responding to economic and social changes resulting from the energy transition and other major economic shifts. The guide is available for download and has been downloaded hundreds of times since its launch just two months ago.