This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 10/21
THREE NUMBERS TO KNOW:
BMW’s investment in a new EV factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina
President Biden’s newly announced funding for battery manufacturing and processing
Jobs projected to be created by the IRA in Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania over the next 10 years
News continued to break this week about the massive economic acceleration brought by the Inflation Reduction Act. BMW announced a $1.7 billion new EV facility, and an EV charging company pledged $15 million for a U.S. factory. Reporters broke news that Audi, Stellantis, and Fisker are all planning new U.S. manufacturing investments soon.
Some shifts were unbelievable in scale: previous estimates were revised to show that the IRA will grow U.S. wind, solar, and batteries by 21%, and double or even triple the share of electrified trucks and vans used in fleets by 2030. The EV startup, Arrival, announced it would restructure its entire business on the American market in order to capitalize on the IRA credits, and Tesla announced a goal of producing 1,000 GWh of batteries a year—more than is currently produced by the rest of the industry combined.
The transformation extended to several swing states. In Nevada, two new critical mineral processing facility announcements will bring hundreds of jobs and hundreds of millions in new investment as the state aims to become the Silicon Valley of lithium to serve the new demand for EVs. Also driven by EVs, Wisconsin’s clean energy industry is recovering strongly from the pandemic, and a new study found that 500,000 Wisconsin homes are eligible for IRA weatherization grants covering up to 80% of costs.
Powering these seismic changes, the Biden administration continued announcing new climate protections and new programs funded by Democrats in Congress. The Departments of Energy and Interior announced $2.8 billion for battery manufacturing, another $30 million to speed up clean energy deployment, and $74 million to plug abandoned wells and address environmental injustice in Kentucky. Other new announcements included a new Environmental Protection Agency plan to crack down on super pollutant HFCs and a Department of Energy funding announcement to speed wind energy deployment.
Here’s a breakdown of the new EV manufacturing facilities worth billions this week:
- BMW will invest $1 billion in its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant to prepare for EV production and spend $700 million on a new gigafactory nearby. [Reuters, 10/19/22]
- SK Signate, an EV charging company, plans to invest $15 million on a U.S. plant. [Elektrive, 10/14/22]
- EV company Fisker seeking U.S. production site. [Bloomberg, 10/17/22]
- Their CEO said the Inflation Reduction Act “has definitely made us think to accelerate because we think this might give us an advantage.” The EV startup accelerated its search for a U.S. production site to ensure its vehicles qualify for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Stellantis planning two new North American battery plants by 2030 [Reuters, 10/18/22]
- Stellantis’ North American chief operating officer said the company will need to double the number of North American factories to meet demand.
- Audi’s Line Of EVs May Soon Be Produced In The United States [CleanTechnica, 10/21/2022]
- Audi’s head of technical development said the company would likely announce a new U.S. based manufacturing facility in 2023 to capture IRA benefits: “now we are on the way, especially as the rules changed, and as you know, there is big spending of the government for EVs, with special circumstances, and we are looking forward to how we can meet these requirements.”
- Arrival said it would restructure its entire business to focus on the U.S. market in an effort to capture IRA benefits. [Reuters, 10/20/22]
- Tesla announced a goal of producing 1,000 GWh of batteries a year, which is more than is currently produced by the rest of the industry combined. [CleanTechnica, 10/20/22]
A new report projected that the Inflation Reduction Act will create nearly 500,000 jobs in just four states. [BlueGreen Alliance, 10/19/22]
- Nearly 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years in Colorado;
- More than 167,000 jobs over the next 10 years in Michigan;
- More than 40,000 jobs over the next 10 years in Nevada; and
- More than 200,000 jobs over the next 10 years in Pennsylvania.
The Inflation Reduction Act is spurring growth in Wisconsin as huge opportunities emerge from IRA tax credits:
- More than 500,000 Wisconsin homes qualify for new weatherization incentives. [Kenosha News, 10/16/22]
- Rebates of up to 80% of weatherization costs will make Wisconsin homes more energy efficient.
- The Inflation Reduction Act targets low- and moderate-income households and disadvantaged communities, who historically could not afford the high up-front costs of weatherization.
- Wisconsin clean energy jobs rebound from pandemic lows, with more than half of new jobs in the EV sector. [Urban Milwaukee, 10/14/22]
Nevada will see new critical minerals manufacturing facilities, creating hundreds of clean energy economy jobs:
- Lilac Solutions announced a Lithium Manufacturing Facility, a $179 million investment that will create 250 jobs. [US DOE, 10/21/22]
- ABTC announced a Cathode Grade Lithium Hydroxide Manufacturing Facility, a $115 million total investment that will create 150 jobs. [US DOE, 10/21/22]
The Inflation Reduction Act changed the fundamental economics of energy, causing analysts to revise their projections of clean energy growth upward:
- Inflation Reduction Act manufacturing and electric production tax credits will make wind and solar purchase agreements viable even at the extremely low cost of a penny per kilowatt hour. [PV Magazine, 10/17/22]
- Domestic manufacturing incentives could also make the U.S. a net exporter of solar modules. [PV Magazine, 10/17/22]
- Bloomberg NEF predicts development of wind, solar, and grid-scale batteries will grow by at least 20% through 2030 because of the Inflation Reduction Act. [Bloomberg NEF, 10/19/22]
- Solar power is projected to triple from 2021 levels by 2030, a 21% increase from past forecasts.
- Wind power is predicted to grow even faster, reaching 147 gigawatts of new projects by 2030, a 36% increase from prior forecasts.
- Energy Innovation projects the IRA could double or even triple the share of electrified trucks and vans used in fleets by 2030. [Protocol, 10/18/22]
States that voted for Trump are poised to benefit from Inflation Reduction Act manufacturing incentives:
- States that voted for Trump will receive most of the $2.8 billion in grants to promote battery and raw material production announced by the Biden admin yesterday, with 8 of 12 companies located in red states. [New York Times, 10/19/22]
- 5 of the 10 states that will receive the most private investment for EVs voted for Trump with Tennessee expected to receive $18 billion dollars, the most of any state. [New York Times, 10/19/22]
The Biden administration announced billions of dollars in funding for batteries, wind, and and oil and gas remediation, and announced new protections against hydrofluorocarbons:
- Biden’s DOE announced $2.8 billion in funding for battery manufacturing. [White House press release, 10/19/2022]
- Biden’s EPA issued a proposed rule to crack down on hydrofluorocarbons, which are a climate super-pollutant. [EPA press release, 10/20/2022]
- Biden-Harris Administration Announced $30 Million to Speed Up Wind Energy Deployment [Department of Energy press release, 10/18/2022]
- Biden’s Department of Energy launched a new initiative to help clean energy projects connect to the grid. [US DOE, 10/17/22]