Solar industry leaders weigh in on Senate passage of the IRA, the bill that carries $370 billion in energy security and climate spending.
From pv magazine USA
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed in the Senate yesterday in 50-50 split with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, called the bill a “defining legislative feat of the 21st century” and “the boldest climate package in US history” on the Senate floor before the final vote.
The bill aims at lower energy costs for Americans, energy security, decarbonization of all sectors of the economy, environmental justice, and resilience in rural communities. Lowered consumer energy costs will be targeted through direct incentives for energy efficient and electric appliances, clean vehicles, rooftop solar, and more. It contains $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs, focused on low-income households, to electrify appliances and make energy efficient retrofits. It also ends the uncertainty around investment tax credits as it extends the ITC for 10 years at 30%.
Expecting passage of the bill in the Senate, solar industry leaders were quick to share their reactions.
Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said the following on the Senate’s passage of this historic legislation:
“Today is a monumental day for America’s clean energy progress and global climate leadership. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the Senate, solar and storage companies are one step closer to having the business certainty they need to make the long-term investments that decarbonize the electric grid and create millions of new career opportunities in cities and towns across the country.
“This legislation is the most transformational investment America has ever made in our climate future, and we are thankful to our members, the clean energy community and every one of our solar champions in Congress for their work to get us to this historic moment. The solar industry has set a goal to account for 30% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030, and this legislation will be a catalyst for reaching that target. Now the work can begin to build out America’s clean energy economy with historic deployment, domestic manufacturing, investments in low-income communities, energy storage, smoother interconnection, and so much more.
“The United States is poised to lead the world’s clean energy transformation while lowering costs for families. We look forward to seeing President Biden sign this bill and kick off this new era of American leadership.”
Dan Shugar, Nextracker CEO and founder, said, “Nextracker strongly supports the Inflation Reduction Act, which will immediately increase hiring at our US factories. Together with our colleagues in the clean energy industry, this action will add over 500,000 jobs.
Accelerating solar’s use in the grid will lower bills for electricity customers while reducing emissions by 40%. Energy independence and decoupling from overseas inflation factors has never been more important. We urge the House to quickly pass this landmark legislation for President Biden’s signature.”
Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance
Michael Parr, executive director of the Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance said, “The Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance applauds the Senate Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. These energy provisions are good news for the US economy. They will put the US in a strong competitive stance in solar manufacturing and pave the way for investments across the American solar supply chain, accelerating the growth already under way in US solar manufacturing. This will mean more good manufacturing jobs, strengthened US energy independence and reduced carbon emissions.” He added, “We encourage the House to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 without delay and get it to President Biden’s desk.”
George Hershman, the CEO of SOLV Energy, a leading utility-scale solar installer, made the following statement:
“I am thrilled that the Senate has taken decisive action to strengthen American energy independence and help families combat rising costs. With the passage of this once-in-a-generation legislation, the Senate has sent a strong message to the world that America is serious about investing in clean energy, spurring innovation, and bringing new opportunities and jobs to communities across this country. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 takes serious action to grow the clean energy economy, puts more money in the pockets of American families and gets us one step closer to tackling the damaging impacts of climate change. I am urging the House of Representatives to take swift action and send this bill to the President’s desk for signature as soon as possible.”
Ted Bloch-Rubin, chair of the WATT Coalition said “We are thrilled the Senate has passed the Investment Reduction Act and that once again Congress has specifically identified Grid-Enhancing Technologies as an important solution set for clean energy integration. GETs can double capacity for renewable energy on the existing grid – with the support for wind and solar deployment in this bill, we’ll need all the delivery capacity we can get. The WATT Coalition hopes that the House passes the bill, and the President signs it into law very soon.”
“The Investment Reduction Act is a powerful market signal to develop more renewable energy across America, and we cannot allow the grid to be an obstacle to the energy transition,” said “The WATT Coalition urges governors and public utility commissioners to push utilities to make long-overdue investments in grid optimization and flexibility. Funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can ensure that local ratepayers see less upfront costs, while upgrades pay for themselves with systemwide benefits. Wind and solar projects are ready to break ground – state leaders can make sure that the grid is ready for them to plug in,” said Rob Gramlich, executive director of the WATT Coalition.
The bill next goes to the House where it is expected to pass, possibly by the end of this week.
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Source: pv magazine