The American Energy Deal is official! On August 16, 2022, the most significant climate and clean energy bill in the US was signed into law. H.R. 5376, better known as The Inflation Reduction Act, includes policies that will promote the solar industry’s goal to account for 30 percent of all US electricity generation by 2030 (SEIA). The IRA will invest $300 billion in energy and climate reform which includes a $60 billion boost to manufacturing (NPR). These investments yield more American jobs, energy cost savings, incentives, and addresses the climate crisis.
American Energy is Creating Solar Jobs
US climate goals reflect that there will be 950 million solar panels operating in the US by 2030 (@POTUS). To meet this demand, the IRA will allow an influx of more union jobs. In fact, by 2030 estimates show that 40,000 direct solar manufacturing jobs will have been created. This will more than double the workforce (SEIA).
Solar Energy Cost Savings and Incentives
The IRA will make costs lower and energy cheaper (@POTUS). One such reason is the increase in the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Before the IRA, business and residential projects would receive a 26 percent tax credit. Now, the ITC reflects a 30 percent credit for the next 10 years! Credits for manufacturing various solar module and inverter components will also be available (PV Magazine). That means financial savings for the solar consumer and a decrease in the cost of American-made solar.
Addressing the Climate Crisis
The global sea level has been rising since 1880. Out of the nine inches it has risen, 3 inches have contributed in the last 25 years (climate.gov). Additionally, recent warm temperatures have intensified the effects of very low precipitation and snowpack, creating conditions for extreme wildfires that spread rapidly. This bill could lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (NPR) and get us closer to Biden’s goal to have 100 percent of energy be from clean sources by 2035 (Energy.gov).
President Biden said, “…we can protect the already-powerful, or show the courage to build the future where everybody has an even shot.” The impact of the American Energy Deal has the potential to propel the solar industry into the most significant era of its history by creating clean, low-cost energy solutions for the people.