Business Leaders Highlight How the Investments in the Inflation Reduction Act are Already Benefiting Their Companies, Laying Ground for Longer-Term Scaling and Job Creation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, clean energy leaders came together to discuss how they will put the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act into action. Leaders from Galvanize Climate Solutions, SOLV Energy, Sunrun, Fervo Energy, Solstice Initiative, KORE, BlocPower, EVgo, Q-Cells, and Breakthrough Energy spoke about how the recently-passed climate legislation has already benefited their companies, fueling a massive clean energy hiring boom, driving innovation like we’ve never seen before, and providing unprecedented stability within the clean energy industry to ensure continued rapid growth in the coming years.
This event was hosted by Breakthrough Energy, Clean Energy for America, Solar Energy Industries Association, Zero Emission Transportation Association, and Climate Power.
The Inflation Reduction Act made historic investments in American clean energy, totaling $369 billion. This infusion of resources into an already booming clean energy industry means real and lasting benefits for local economies, businesses, families, and the environment. These organizations and companies at today’s roundtable are on the cutting edge of the clean energy future.
Here are some highlights from the event:
Christy Goldfuss, Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress, will moderate.
- “It was really important to many of the members of Congress, and I know the president and his administration, that this policy could be felt by communities pretty much right away. And that there would be evidence of this transformation improving communities from the beginning.”
- “Some of the words that we’ve heard over and over again – clean, historic, transformational, accelerate, jobs, communities – these are all aspects of this policy that are so exciting. THer were so many hard days where we didnt think this policy was going to get over the finish line, but it is here now”
Tom Steyer, Co-Executive Chair at Galvanize Climate Solutions highlighted the impact that IRA investments will have on the industry, from innovation, to cost savings, to deploying new technologies faster than ever.
- “From an investment standpoint [the Inflation Reduction Act] is transformative, revolutionary, unprecedented.”
- “It means that the technologies that we already have will be deployed faster and more broadly than they would have otherwise been – substantially faster. What does that mean? The way technology works is that as you deploy, by definition, costs come down. That means in the existing technologies that we’re going to be pushing out like solar and wind and EVs and batteries, we’re going to be driving down costs for ourselves and also driving down costs for people around the world.”
- “This bill in effect, passes the baton from the government to the private sector. When you think about how we’re going to execute this change, it’s always going to be a partnership between public and private – always. This is saying to the private sector that you have every ability and every support that you need to go out and create these businesses and make these changes.”
Mary Powell, CEO and Director at Sunrun discussed how investing in clean household technologies like solar will create safer, cheaper, and more reliable power for families, regardless of socioeconomic status.
- “What I love is I actually feel like the baton is getting passed to Americans. What I love about where we are is this will just accelerate the tipping point we were already seeing happen, which is a customer-driven revolution to energy technologies that can transform lives, deliver more affordable resilient energy, and, P.S., save the planet.”
- “One of the reasons I love the work that we’re doing and this acceleration is that fundamentally what we can do is that we can also make the grid itself so much more reliable, resilient, and affordable for all by leveraging these distributed assets all over the country. And did I see that more clearly than last week in California, where we again stepped up and we were utilizing all of that clean power storage in homes all across California to frankly save the state from brownouts and blackouts. Again, as we look to the future, it is so powerful to think about this acceleration and think about what it can do not just for individual homes and communities, but for the entire grid system in America.”
Scott Moskowitz, Director of U.S. Strategy, Market Research, Policy, and Communications at Q-Cells focused on the benefits of building out a domestic energy manufacturing supply chain, including jobs and energy independence.
- “Investment in clean energy is about to skyrocket. So my company, Q-Cells, we […] are already expanding our factories thanks to this legislation to supply more solar panels to homes, businesses, schools, communities, and utilities across the country.”
- “Simply put, the Inflation Reduction Act contains some of the most ambitious clean energy manufacturing policies enacted anywhere in the world. In particular, the Solar Power Manufacturing for America Act, which was introduced and championed by Senator Ossoff, and was included in this bill is really going to supercharge clean energy manufacturing broadly across the United States..”
- “The Inflation Reduction Act is not just going to help decarbonize the grid, it’s going to ensure that we are not dependent on imports to do it. And in the process it’s going to create thousands of good-paying, high-quality, high-tech manufacturing jobs across the United States.”
George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy highlighted the pro-labor aspects of the bill, and how new investment will empower American companies to hire at home, creating sustainable jobs for decades to come.
- “From our vantage point, the bill really supports the U.S. labor side and creates an industry that’s going to support a massive growth in labor opportunities and for projects like ours that all employ 500 to a thousand people are based mainly in rural areas. So the job-creation and opportunity that this bill has just across the country is amazing.”
- “Having been in this industry since 2007 and watching it really go kind of in stops and starts, you know we’ve ramped up and down up and down and now to build a company in an industry with decades of projection now ahead of us, this is really transformational and it’s going to change industry and job-creation across the country.”
- “This bill addresses apprenticeship programs, it addresses labor and labor unions, and prevailing wage opportunities – really a structure that works and supports the U.S. labor market. And we’re really excited about it. It’s truly […] we probably haven’t used ‘transformational’ enough in this conversation– it really is going to look so much different for generations.”
Yesenia Rivera, Executive Director of Solstice Initiative talked through how clean energy technologies will create resources for lower-income families, taking steps toward a just transition to a cleaner future.
- “Community solar is an important part of the transformation to an equitable clean energy [future]. When we were founded, over 80% of American households could not access rooftop solar – we set out to change that and we did.”
- “Inflation Reduction Act puts more resources on the table to be able to deliver community-based solutions. We have the 10% Xx, on top of the 30% tax credit for projects that can sell electricity via community solar to low-income families. If those projects are built in an energy community, there’s an additional tax credit. So what this bill does is […] telling folks that developing projects in frontline communities in a way that’s at scale and accessible to everyone is going to save developers more money.”
- “The investment in community solar has to increase and we hope that the success of these incentives will show the benefits of building equitably and locally and that frontline communities will finally be able to access clean, affordable energy.”
Cathy Zoi, CEO at EVgo, discussed how clean energy investments will transform the transportation industry, from incentivizing charging stations to vehicle stations, so that clean vehicles are accessible to communities across the country.
- “We are at this moment where it really is unstoppable. For transportation, which is my focus now, the combination of the Inflation Reduction Act with incentives with vehicle purchase with the incentives in the infrastructure that will charge those vehicles is magic.”
- “Most of our fast-charging stations […] are in urban areas because that’s where the cars were, but we have this belief in eclectic for all. And what the IRA will do, is it will allow EVgo to invest in the charging infrastructure that enables electric for all, that enables people in rural areas to drive EVs and know comfortably that they’re going to be able to charge. People that are going to visit their inlaws on corridors and interstate highways that Eisenhower built in the ‘50s – they’re all going to have electric chargers now. That wouldn’t be able to be done in this time period – not even close – without the IRA so we are really excited.”
Timothy Latimer, Co-Founder and CEO of Fervo Energy discussed how the clean energy industry is creating jobs for oil and gas workers who have decades of experience and critical skill sets, as the oil and gas industry falters.
- “We hire a number of people, including myself – I started my career in the oil and gas industry – when I became passionate about climate change I found geothermal to be a great place that as a drilling engineer, I can use the skill set that I developed throughout my career, and do it for a carbon free energy source instead.”
- “The demand is there. Now we started looking at, “okay, are we actually going to be able to scale our industry fast enough to meet this demand?” And so the IRA couldn’t have come at a better time. It provides certainty, it provides a level playing field with other renewable energy resources, in a way that our industry hasn’t experienced in a decade. And that’s gonna be a major catalyst for growth and allow us to meet this demand.”
- “It’s also important for the workers. We wanted to do geothermal not just because it’s good for the climate, not just because it’s good for resiliency, but it’s a great way to employ people. […] The oil and gas industry has some of the most talented workers out there. And if we can harness their skills for geothermal it’s gonna make a big difference.”
Lindsay Gorrill, Founder and CEO at KORE, highlighted how the investments in the Inflation Reduction Act will help create the type of robust domestic supply chain needed to sustain U.S. clean energy dominance.
- “The IRA has some major incentives that will bring the U.S. into the 21st century, and possibly into the 22nd century as a leader in clean energy. Number 1: The supply chain. […] Coupled with the focus of the DOE to invest capital in this area will lead to developing a real domestic supply chain in this area. Second: manufacturing. The benefit of a $35 kilowatt hour per cell and $10 kilowatt hour for modules provides a cost benefit that will allow the U.S. to compete on the world stage. […] Third: integration. The 30% ITC for standalone storage will propel the use of much-needed storage in all aspects of green energy and the stabilization of the grid, which is very very critical.”
- “I believe the IRA is a critical piece of legislation for the U.S. to develop its own supply chain, and is an incredible lift for KORE or any clean energy company. We’re making air Buckeye Arizona a hub for clean energy manufacturing, driving investment and economic opportunity. For us the IRA is essential to help establish a much-needed push in electrification.”
Donnel Baird, Founder of BlocPower, spoke about the health impacts of fossil fuel reliance within homes. He noted the work his organization is doing to help businesses and developers cut through the red tape, simplifying their transition to clean energy.
- “What we think the IRA means to us, is if you’re a building owner and burning fossil fuels in a building, which most of us do, it’s incredibly expensive. It’s incredibly complicated to figure out which size, equipment, brands of heat pump or solar panels. Where do you go to get help? Who’s the right contractor? What kind of certification do they need to have? Plus it’s super expensive. The IRA provides rebates, it provides workforce development, it provides investments air quality sensors that will allow all of us to figure out, as private sector activist, how we can start to serve low-income communities in a way that allows them to of leap frog the fossil fuel combustion era that we’re sort of trapped in now as well as the cycle of wealth inequality.”
- “It’s not all policy and technology […] it’s also people. […] If we don’t remember the voters and the communities and the things that they care about, the things that are top of mind for them, this bill won’t work. The authors of this bill did keep American families in mind and that’s what’s so exciting.”
Aliya Haq, Vice President of U.S. Policy and Advocacy at Breakthrough Energy focused on how the IRA will speed up the implementation of new technologies and supercharge innovation, shaping America’s clean energy future.
- “We too are wildly excited about the inflation reduction act as well as some of the other pieces of legislation Congress has passed recently as a monumental investment in climate technologies.”
- “To reach zero emissions we have two major steps to take. The first step we need is to speed up the adoption of existing competitive technologies like wind and solar at ease which in other countries are here today. But we also need to accelerate innovation and development and scale up new solutions to tackle the hard stuff that we don’t actually know how to decarbonize yet. That means we need to look at the cost of the technologies and figure out how to scale them up to break down the costs […] Not only does the Inflation Reduction Act do that, but it works in complement with the CHIPS act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to supercharge the innovation cycle.”