Renewable energy is set for an unprecedented boom after the first-ever climate bill was signed into law. Solar and wind projects are expected to double their capacity by the end of the decade and provide the bulk of the American electricity supply.
New analysis shows that the passage of the legislation will help propel the United States toward the forefront of the clean energy economy, experts predicted. It will help it compete with China in the manufacturing and installation of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and emerging zero-carbon technology.
The legislation, known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), includes $370 billion towards climate spending.
Contained in the bill are tax credits that should help to double the capacity of installed wind and solar by 2030, according to an updated analysis by research firm Energy Innovation. This extra resource could enable clean electricity to provide anything from 72 percent to 85 percent of the total U.S. supply by 2030.
Researchers and experts said the bill is going to make it very cheap to create clean electricity, and there will therefore be an incredible amount of deployment of both solar and wind.
The legislation is being hailed as a complete jump-start for renewables with all the incentives to grow the industry domestically and unleash investment in renewables. About $180 billion in extra capital investment in renewables could be spent by 2030, according to Energy Innovation.
A separate research group, Rystad Energy, has forecast even more will be funneled into the sector, estimating it to be at about $270 billion, leading to hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Previously, wind and solar developers had to rely upon short-term tax breaks and partner with banks or other large institutions. The new bill provides the certainty of a 10-year tax credit program and allows the credits to be transferrable to the developers themselves.
There are also billions of dollars for the domestic manufacturing of clean energy components, as well as rebates for people to buy electric cars.
The White House expects the legislation to save the United States as much as $1.9 trillion in climate-related costs by 2050, through reduced deaths and property damage caused by extreme weather like heat, floods, drought, and fires.