INDIANA

INDIANA

Indiana is nicknamed “The Hoosier State,” but confusion about what “hoosier” means persists today. Letters dating to the 19th century link the term “hoosher nest” to the cabins built by colonizers who settled in IndianaKnown for its vast cornfields, Indiana boasts a population of 6.7 million and spans nearly 36 thousand square miles. 

Changing weather patterns are already adversely affecting Indiana’s economy, which is heavily dependent on agriculture. In 2019, corn production was down 16% and soybean production down 20% compared with 2018, a downturn that the US Department of Agriculture linked to near-historic precipitation. Unfortunately, these statistics represent a developing trend, as rainfall has risen significantly since the mid-20th century and three of the top five precipitation events in the state have occurred within the past five years. In addition to hindering crop yields, flooding threatens Indiana’s infrastructure and residential buildings 

Increasing temperatures are directly linked to the increased in participation as we are also seeing in other parts of the Midwest. Since 1895, Indiana has seen its average temperature increase by 1.2 degrees, and that is expected to become a 6 degree increase by 2050. Between more extreme precipitation events, droughts are expected to accompany the hotter temperatures. These challenges will impact the food and water security of many Indiana residents, and negatively impact their health. Cold-weather events help to control pest populations, and insect-borne illnesses are expected to escalate as the climate warms. 

As of 2019, Indiana is still heavily dependent on coal and ranked third in coal consumption after North Dakota and Texas, with nearly 60% of Indiana’s energy coming from coal. Indiana is consuming renewable resources as well — 6% of the state’s electricity came from wind in 2019. However, biomass, solar, and hydropower only accounted for 1% combined. Due in large part to its heavy coal reliance, Indiana is the eighth largest-emitter of greenhouse gases of all the states.  

Indiana’s relatively new Energy Policy Task Force has been charged with developing a state-wide energy plan. So far, however, a plan does not yet exist. In discussing a transition away from coal, legislators have floated misguided concerns about renewable resources’ lacking reliability. To the frustration of both environmentalists and utility groups, legislators in the state House utilities committee brought forward a bill that would require utilities to get the state’s permission before shutting down a coal plant 

 In the void left by state leadership, eleven Indiana cities have stepped forward as part of Indiana University Resilience Cohort program. The program was developed in 2019 and helps cities take greenhouse gas inventories and develop reduction plans. Thanks to this program, local governments representing 35% of the state’s population have competed inventories 

Preparing Indiana for Environmental Change | Ellen Ketterson | TEDxIndianaUniversity

CREDIT: TEDX TALKS

CURRENT NEWS

PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Notre Dame’s hydroelectric project wrapping up. Here’s what it means for South Bend’s Seitz Park

04/01/22
City officials have their fingers crossed that a hydroelectric project at Seitz Park will wrap up before the end of June so that the reconstruction of the popular gathering spot can get underway.

RFP Alert: 500MW of PV for Indiana Michigan Power

03/15/22
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), a portfolio company of American Electric Power, issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 500MW of solar capacity and 800MW of wind. The request comes as a first step in implementing…

Duke Energy awards more than $300,000 in grants to innovative K-12 education initiatives across Indiana

03/10/22
"Our educators and students are facing tremendous challenges teaching and learning as we emerge from the pandemic," said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. "It's more important now than ever before that we support…

Indiana enables renewable-ready communities

03/10/22
With the passage of SB 411, Indiana communities can opt to voluntarily adopt regulations that will qualify them as a wind- or solar-ready community. The standards are expected to significantly cut project development time, lower…
IER

Voluntary Approach to Renewable Energy Siting Passes Indiana Senate

02/02/22
The Indiana Senate approved a bill that would reward communities that choose to adopt certain renewable energy siting standards with financial incentives.

City Council Accepts 2021 Climate Action Plan

By Ethan Burks 04/22/21
Bloomington’s long-term goal of cutting down its greenhouse gas emissions received formal recognition from the city council Wednesday night.

KEY RESOURCES

Indiana State Profile and Energy Estimates

09/23/21
Indiana lies just west of the Appalachian Mountains and extends 270 miles south from Lake Michigan to the Ohio River. Indiana's length is almost twice its width, but, with the exception of Hawaii, it is…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

09/01/21
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

More coal was consumed in Indiana than in all but two U.S. states in 2019

02/22/21
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest coal data, the 36.7 million short tons of coal consumed in Indiana during 2019 was more than any state in the nation besides Texas and North…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Indiana

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Indiana experienced two floods and seven severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

08/13/20
Nearly three-quarters of Indiana’s electricity comes from coal, and 5 percent is generated by renewable sources, though the wind energy sector is growing and coal use is declining2. This energy mix makes the Hoosier State…

Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

08/13/20
In the coming decades, Indiana’s changing climate will bring with it higher temperatures, longer heat waves, more extremely hot days and more frequent extreme storm events. Those changes will affect the health of Hoosiers in…

State-by-State: Climate Change in Indiana

07/31/20
Indiana’s main economy is agriculture, and, according to a Risky Business report, the whole Midwest region will likely face crop yield declines of up to 19% by mid-century and 63% by the end of the…

Homegrown Natural Resources

04/28/20
But, Indiana is ranked 36th in the U.S. for renewable energy generation, behind other states in the region, including Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota.

Climate Change Will Impact Length of Indiana Summers and Winters, New Study Finds

04/28/20
The new report says the timing of outdoor recreational activities will shift by mid-century because Indiana's winter season is expected to shorten by 20 to 25 days and hot days during which high temperatures reach 85…

Indiana Extreme Heat

04/28/20
Today, Indiana rarely experiences days with dangerous heat levels. By 2050, the state is projected to see an average of 40 danger days a year.

Is Climate Change Already Affecting Indiana’s Agriculture?

04/28/20
“This was not a normal year,” said Greg Matli, Indiana state statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service at a crop report panel. “Nothing like 2019 has happened in our history before.”

What Climate Change Means for Indiana

04/28/20
Our climate is changing because the earth is warming.  

Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

04/28/20
Scientists and decision makers from across the state are working together to develop a series of easily understandable reports that shows how a changing climate will affect state and local interests. Led by the Purdue…

Report finds quick transition from coal to renewables would benefit Indiana consumers

04/28/20
Though the report didn’t look into the reliability of renewable energy, she says several utilities — like NIPSCO in northern Indiana — plan to rely on battery storage. AEC’s analysis shows that moving to all…

Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

04/28/20
Projections show the pace picking up even more speed as heat-trapping gases, produced by humans burning fossil fuels, continue accumulating in the atmosphere. Indiana will continue to warm, more precipitation will fall, and extremely hot…

Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment

04/28/20
However, researchers can use climate models to make “projections” of future climate based on reasonable assumptions about future atmospheric conditions. The projections used in this report assume that society will continue to release heat-trapping gases…

Renewable Projects

04/27/20
Vectren, A CenterPoint Energy Company – “Renewable Energy”

Renewable Energy Sources

04/27/20
"Renewable Energy" is any naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy that is not derived from fossil or nuclear fuel.  These sources include biomass, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave, and hydroelectric power.  In the past five years, Indiana has made tremendous strides in the use of wind, biofuel, solar, and biomass resources. Furthermore, Indiana has used its manufacturing skills to become an integral part…

‘Substantial loss of life’: What the climate change report says about Indiana

11/27/18
A global warming report released by the Trump administration predicts several severe outcomes for Hoosier health and economy.

MORE NEWS

Scrub Hub: How much of the U.S. carbon emissions come from Indiana? (Hint: It’s a lot)

By Sarah Bowman   09/07/21  
In case you hadn’t heard, the earth is doomed. Apocalyptic statement aside, hundreds of top scientists from across the globe released a report last month on the danger that human-caused climate change poses to the…

Scrub Hub: How much of the U.S. carbon emissions come from Indiana?

By Sarah Bowman   09/07/21  
In case you hadn’t heard, the earth is doomed. Apocalyptic statement aside, hundreds of top scientists from across the globe released a report last month on the danger that human-caused climate change poses to the…

As the shoreline erodes, one national park tries to adapt

By Zachary Green   09/04/21  
On the southern end of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes National Park has seen the water levels rise five feet since 2014, hastened by human-made structures and an increase in storms brought on by climate change.…

Indiana Land Use Summit to highlight innovations in planning

09/02/21  
Hoosiers passionate about land-use planning for agriculture and natural resources can now register for the Indiana Land Use Summit workshop hosted by Purdue Extension and the Indiana Land Resources Council.

The rise and fall of a renewable energy darling

By John Russel   08/27/21  
A light rain drizzled outside the “Today” show set at Rockefeller Center in New York City, but top officials of Indiana-based WindStream Technologies were all smiles.

As climate change makes Indianapolis hotter, some communities will suffer more than others

By Chrystelle L. Vilfranc   08/27/21  
The record-breaking heat this summer has produced higher air conditioning bills, greater energy usage, increased air pollution and more greenhouse gas emissions here in Indiana and across the country.

CenterPoint Energy seeks approval for 335 megawatts of renewable energy serving southwestern Indiana

08/26/21  
CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) today announced its Indiana-based electric and natural gas business, CenterPoint Energy Indiana South, has filed a request for approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to enter into two power…

Report: State’s advanced energy sector still robust, despite COVID setbacks

By Andy Knight   08/26/21  
Employment in the advanced energy sector was affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but the industry still had a statewide workforce of more than 83,000 at the end of 2020, according to a new report from…

Climate change is making Indianapolis hotter. These 6 resources can help you beat the heat

By Chrystelle L. Vilfranc   08/25/21  
A week’s worth of 90-degree days in Indianapolis brings to a close a summer that saw record-breaking heat across the U.S., part of a trend that will continue as climate change progresses.

How is Climate Change Affecting Indiana?

By Micah Yason   08/25/21  
Extreme weather events have made headlines around the world this year, but what effect is climate change having in Indiana right now?

Community members reflect on their carbon footprint

By Lucas Bleyle   08/22/21  
A recent report on climate change has reaffirmed the need for rapid emissions reduction to keep annual temperature average from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Duke Energy Stands In The Way Of Indiana Cities’ Climate Goals

By Rebecca Theile   08/20/21  
Among other things, the coalition wants Duke Energy to retire its Gibson coal plant by 2030, stop burning coal at its Edwardsport plant and replace that energy through renewables and energy efficiency.

Joining the hive: City seeks “Bee City” designation

By Rebecca Thiele   08/20/21  
City officials from Bloomington, Carmel, and West Lafayette — and other Indiana lawmakers — sent a letter to Duke Energy this week urging the utility to make a faster transition to renewable energy. Some cities worry Duke…

Indiana’s strategic position boosts its wind power industry

By London Gibson  Photo: Linda A. Howel , Purdue Office Of Research Communications   08/18/21  
Between 2018 and 2019, Indiana’s wind power generation increased by 14%, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association released last year, making it the seventh-fastest growing state in the country.

Feeling hot? Evansville, urban residents could be feeling the heat more than others

By Mark Wilson  Photo: Danny Simons , Courier and Press   08/16/21  
If you live in a city and you feel like the weather's been hotter than what your rural friends have experienced ... well, you're right. Temperatures in Indiana cities such as Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis,…

Feeling hot? Evansville, urban residents could be feeling the heat more than others

By Mark Wilson  Photo: Denny Simmons , Courier and Press   08/16/21  
 If you live in a city and you feel like the weather's been hotter than what your rural friends have experienced ... well, you're right.

Cover crop usage sets record as farmers see environmental, financial benefits

By Andy Knight   08/14/21  
Most of the fields surrounding Mike Shuter’s farm in western Madison County had blossomed with corn and soybeans by early August. But one, situated next to a winding driveway leading to the farmhouse, featured much…

‘Hotter and more humid’: Dangerous extreme heat will impact Indiana in coming years

By Chrystelle L. Vilfranc  Photo: Michele Pemberton , Indy Star   08/02/21  
Historically, Indiana has experienced only seven days per year at 95 degrees or more. That could change in a big way.

Indiana Tests Technology to Charge EVs While They Move

By Eduardo Garcia  Photo: akrassel , Getty Images   07/30/21  
Can you imagine driving an electric car that charges itself while in motion? Researchers with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and Purdue University are testing a new type of concrete that may do just that.

Indiana Republicans join the new Conservative Climate Caucus. Here’s what that means

By Rashika Jaipuriar and Sarah Bowman   06/25/21  
A group of Republicans, led by Utah Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), is laying out that vision. On Wednesday, Curtis introduced the new Republican-only Conservative Climate Caucus, aimed at educating fellow House lawmakers on climate policies that align…

St. Joseph Solar Farm begins operations with nearly 58,000 panels

By DJ Manou   05/07/21  
The future of renewable energy in Indiana has a new cornerstone. The St. Joseph Solar Farm is officially online.

Flood Insurance Premiums To Go Down For 46 Percent Of Hoosiers

By Rebecca Thiele   05/06/21  
Flood insurance will be cheaper for more than 40% of policy holders in Indiana. FEMA changed how it calculates the premiums in the federal flood insurance program.

Purdue Extension Focuses on Renewable Energy

By Mary Roberts   05/05/21  
 Purdue Extension is partnering with Hoosiers for Renewables and Indiana Farm Bureau to conduct a comprehensive study on land use regulations for wind and solar renewable energy and trends related to climate change planning.

New IU Tool Maps Green Infrastructure in Hoosier Communities

By Enrique Saenz   05/05/21  
A new tool allows Hoosier communities to plan for climate change impacts by showing where crucial green infrastructure exists and where it is needed.

Declaring A Statewide Climate Emergency

By Sofie Alge   05/05/21  
“What makes our movement, ‘Confront the Climate Crisis,’ so powerful,” says youth climate activist from West Lafayette, Annabel Prokopy, “is that we are not only young people who are crazy passionate about change — real,…

New Law Restricts Local Governments’ Ability to Address Climate Change

By Enrique Saenz   05/05/21  
Beginning July 1, local governments in Indiana will have much less power to enact regulations that would reduce their contributions to climate change.

Indiana Project Part of USDA’s Investment in Western Lake Erie Basin to Protect Natural Resources, Supporting Region’s Producers

By USDA Communications   05/04/21  
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $23.2 million into three locally driven partnerships in the Western Lake Erie Basin, which encompasses portions of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

United States: Indiana’s State-Regulated Wetlands Bill Signed Into Law By Governor

By Jeffrey A. Abrams , Chelsea Spickelmier and Erick D. Ponader   05/04/21  
On Thursday, April 29, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law Senate Enrolled Act 389, despite objections presented by hundreds of environmental organizations, hunting groups, and wildlife advocates who felt the bill would strip protections for…

Opportunity Zones Targeted for Renewable Energy Projects

By Alex Brown   04/29/21  
 South Bend-based Hoosier Solar Holdings LLC has announced plans to develop multiple solar and battery storage projects across many of Indiana's Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Climate change predicted to affect agriculture, seasons in Indiana

By Sophie Suter  Photo: Donya Collins   04/27/21  
On April 20, many parts of Indiana received a blanket of snow and freezing weather warnings. IU researchers said this can be attributed to climate change, and events like this are one of the many…

Rockport Coal Plant In Southern Indiana To Fully Close By 2028

By Rebecca Thiele   04/26/21  
One of Indiana’s largest coal plants is expected to close in the next seven years. Indiana Michigan Power had already planned to close half of the Rockport coal plant in Spencer County.

Indiana Youth Move Mountains

By Allie Skalnik   04/26/21  
Across the globe, young people are increasingly taking up climate activism. With Greta Thunberg as arguably the most recognizable face of the current climate movement, youth passion regarding climate change is undeniable.

Large chunk of Indiana wetlands could soon be eliminated

By David Caulfield   04/21/21  
The majority of state-regulated wetlands in Indiana could be eliminated by builders and farmers without a permit or mitigation, thanks to a new measure that the State Senate sent to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk last…

‘Like a hostage negotiation’: Indiana bill on renewable energy standards dies after pushback

By Sarah Bowman  Photo: Kelly Wilkinson , Indy star   04/15/21  
Efforts to send a message that Indiana is open for business to renewables came to an abrupt stop on Tuesday night .

Duke Energy division planning $180M Indiana solar farm

By Associated Press   04/10/21  
 A division of Duke Energy that develops renewable energy projects plans to build a $180 million solar farm in western Indiana that would produce enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.

Young Climate Activist Fights to Save Indiana Wetlands

By Mary Jo DiLonardo   03/15/21  
Early this year, youth activist Leo Berry was at the Indiana State House with his mom and a couple of friends to support a climate resolution study and research bill that was being introduced. While…

Some farmers updating methods, trying `regenerative’ farming

By London Gibson  Photo by Mykal McEldowney   01/24/21  
Regenerative farmer Rick Clark has spoken on his farming methods in Russia, France, Spain, and 25 U.S. states — but he still has trouble finding open ears in his home of Warren County, Indiana.  "The…

Sun-powered savings: John Glenn, Goshen and other schools look to cut costs with solar

By Ed Semmler  Photo by Robert Franklin   01/24/21  
North Liberty Elementary will become the first public school in St. Joseph County to become virtually free from electricity bills when it completes an 846-panel solar field in the middle of March.

Indy Zoo Hires Species Survival Team

By Mary Roberts  Photo by Tim Littig   01/21/21  
The Indianapolis Zoo has hired a team of experts to support its efforts to protect nature through the new Global Center for Species Survival. The zoo says the team will focus on connecting the work of more…

Indy’s IEA Secures $45M Wind Construction Contract

By Mary Roberts  Photo by Tom Campbell   01/21/21  
Indianapolis-based Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives Inc. (Nasdaq: IEA) has been awarded a $45 million wind construction contract for the Shady Oaks II Wind Farm in Illinois. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. awarded the project to…

2020 Marked Another Year Indiana Was Hotter Than Normal

By Rebecca Thiele   01/20/21  
According to NASA, 2020 tied with 2016 for the hottest year on record globally. Though it was only the 14th the hottest year for Indiana, it marked the sixth year in a row that temperatures…

Huntingburg considering dropping net metering for properties using renewable energy

By Matthew Crane   01/13/21  
The City of Huntingburg is considering modifications to the existing net-metering process for properties using renewable energy like solar panels. The city created a net-metering ordinance allowing customers to offset their electrical usage several years…

Bitter Ridge Wind Farm, Indiana

01/13/21  
Bitter Ridge wind farm is a 130MW project located in Indiana, US, developed by Scout Clean Energy, a renewable energy company based in the US. The electricity generated by the wind farm will be sufficient…

Teachers React To New Climate Change Education Framework

By Rebecca Thiele  Photo by Rebecca Thiele   01/11/21  
The Indiana Department of Education released an online resource in partnership with Purdue University to help teachers teach climate change in schools. Several teachers we interviewed last year said they struggle to find credible materials…

IDOE Adds Climate Change Education Framework

By Mary Roberts   01/07/21  
The Indiana Department of Education, in partnership with the Purdue University Climate Change Research Center and Purdue's College of Science, has announced the state’s new Climate Change Education Framework.

Ameren finishes Missouri-Indiana project

By Linda Cook   01/07/21  
Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE), has completed and energized the final span of the Illinois Rivers Project, a 375-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line from Palmyra, Missouri, to Sugar Creek, Indiana.

Young voices are working to expand climate education in the Wabash Valley

By Anissa Claiborne   01/06/21  
They might be small, but their mission is mighty! A group of young voices here in Terre Haute is working to change their community, one step at a time. "We just really hope that the…

Report: Indiana Less Prepared For Health Effects From Severe Storms, Tick Diseases

By Rebecca Thiele   01/01/21  
Indiana is expected to face more severe storms, flooding, extreme heat, and tick-borne diseases in the future. But a new report said the state hasn’t done enough to prepare.

Scrub Hub: What is a green power program, and how can it help me buy renewable energy?

By London Gibson  Photo by Kelly Wilkinson   12/15/20  
Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power could be a major step toward cutting carbon emissions and curbing climate change. A growing number of people are interested in powering their homes with "clean" energy, and…
IBJ

After years of decline, coal industry pushes back

By John Russell   11/27/20  
The coal industry is fighting for its life in Indiana, where it ruled for decades as the undisputed boss of fuel. Coal mines in Indiana have watched production fall 25% from their peak in 2013,…