US solar industry players gathered on the White House lawn yesterday to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), one month after it was signed into law.
President Joe Biden was joined by lawmakers, renewables trade associations, solar developers and manufacturers, and activists at the event to commemorate the legislation, billed as the biggest climate package in US history.
“We are going to take the most aggressive action ever, ever, ever to confront the climate crisis and increase our energy security,” Biden said during a speech.
Earmarking US$369 billion for decarbonisation efforts, the IRA includes expanded tax credits for utility-scale solar and manufacturing credits for a host of PV components.
Research firm Wood Mackenzie forecasts that the legislation will increase US utility-scale solar buildout by 86% over the next ten years, while trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association has suggested the country could exceed 50GW of solar manufacturing capacity by the end of this decade thanks to incentives included in the act.
Passage of the legislation followed a period of uncertainty earlier in the year as Democrats were unable to get the larger Build Back Better act through the Senate. However, key Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia struck a deal in late July to vote on the IRA.
Among the attendees of the White House event was Dan Shugar, CEO of tracker manufacturer Nextracker, who wrote on LinkedIn that it was an honour to be invited to celebrate what he described as the largest clean tech manufacturing policy in US history.
He wrote: “Now we need to deliver. Deliver US manufacturing capacity. Deliver US jobs. Deliver lower cost for customers. And further energy security, clean air, and clean water.”
Having opened three factories in the US this year – in Pennsylvania, Texas and Arizona – Nextracker has confirmed to PV Tech that it is considering accelerating and increasing production at its facilities as a result of the IRA.
Also present at the event was Mary Powell, CEO of residential solar installer Sunrun, who said the IRA drastically increases access to clean, reliable and affordable sources of energy, adding: “American families can now take advantage of new tax incentives for home solar, batteries, heating, electric vehicles and so much more. It’s a huge win for the American people.”