4Q 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act: A Boon for American Clean Energy—But When?

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has been called historic, transformative, and imperfect. But despite detractors’ criticisms, the IRA is the most significant piece of climate change legislation US lawmakers have ever passed. With the recent rise in extreme weather events, drought, heat waves, and forest fires, the detrimental impacts of climate change can no longer be denied, and Congress has taken action.

The IRA commits nearly $370 billion in funding and tax incentives to clean energy investment and emerging technologies, and emphasizes the decarbonization of manufacturing in the US, domestic sourcing of materials, the creation of new energy economy jobs for Americans, and support for electrification and energy efficiency in disadvantaged communities. It takes a significant step toward the Biden administration’s stated goal of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to just half of 2005 levels by 2030; indeed, according to several early analyses, the IRA could result in a ~40% reduction in GHG in the next seven years.

The IRA represents a massive policy shift that can benefit green energy economy stakeholders over the long term, but it includes some provisions that could slow or inhibit immediate investment; negotiating a bill all parties could support required compromises that could limit the law’s effectiveness or even generate unintended negative consequences in the near term. 

In this white paper, Guidehouse Insights provides its early-stage analysis of key provisions of the IRA and suggests how vendors and OEMs should prepare to meet its requirements and take full advantage of the funding and incentives offered to maximize their—and their customers’—benefit.

Pages 13
Tables | Charts | Figures 1
  • How will the IRA impact materials sourcing for green technologies?
  • What impact will the IRA have on greentech project financing?
  • How can vendors work with state and local governments to maximize IRA benefits?
  • How will the IRA improve the prospects for carbon capture and alternative fuels?
  • How does the IRA level the playing field for green hydrogen?
  • What are the near-term obstacles built into the IRA?
  • Green technology vendors
  • Manufacturers
  • Utilities
  • State and local governments
  • Auto OEMs
  • Mining concerns
  • Solar and wind developers
  • Electric vehicle stakeholders

The IRA Is Pro-Clean Energy and Pro-American

What Does the IRA Mean for Greentech Vendors and OEMs?

Materials Sourcing and Supply Chains

Hi Ho, Hi Ho: Critical Mineral Mining Encouraged

Tax Credits Endure for Critical Minerals, but are Phased Out for Downstream Solar and Wind

Interconnection Delays Remain a Significant Challenge

Advanced Energy Manufacturing and Green Industry

Let’s Get Green: Industrial Processes

Flexible Financing and Social Equity

Social Equity: Efficiency Rewarded, but Pollution Impacts Still Concentrated in Disadvantaged Communities

State and Local Governments, Tribes, and Nonprofits Will Compete for “Free” Money

Carbon Capture and Alternative Fuels

Extending Carbon Capture Credits

Leveling the Playing Field for Green Hydrogen

Cleaning Up Transportation with Biofuels

Conclusions and Recommendations

The IRA Encourages Energy Stakeholders to: