This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 12/9
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: December 9, 2022
CONTACT: Eden Alem, [email protected]
This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 12/9:
See our state by state breakdown here.
THREE NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The year that renewables overtake coal as the largest source of energy, according to a new report.
| $4 billion
The amount Air Products and AES will invest in a new hydrogen plant, making it the largest wind and solar plant in the U.S..
Envision AESC’s latest investment to build a new battery Gigafactory in South Carolina, creating 1,170 jobs.
New projections estimate that in the next decade, renewable power capacity will grow as much in the next five years as it has in the past two decades. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy will overtake coal as the largest source of energy by 2025, and renewable energy capacity will double by 2027 – gaining enough renewable energy to power China. Companies continue to make staggering investments in clean energy production, with over $10 billion announced this week for new facilities in Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina,Tennessee, and Texas, producing over 5,700 new jobs. This week, the Biden Administration announced new initiatives to cut energy use and fully electrify equipment in 30% of federal building space by 2030, announced the first government sale of offshore wind leases off the coast of California, and laid plans to expand solar energy development across the American West. With Senator Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia, Democrats are poised to make continued advancements in the fight against climate change through the new year.
Across the country, companies continue to make staggering investments in a clean energy future and stimulate job creation for working Americans:
- The American Battery Factory will invest $1.2 billion into its first LFP facility, producing 300 initial jobs in Tucson, Arizona. [Energy Storage News, 12/7/2022]
- The facility will produce 3 GWh of batteries a year with planned expansions up to 15 GWh. The facility has plans to scale up to 1,000 jobs.
- Envision AESC announced an $810 million investment to build a new gigafactory in Florence County, SC, creating 1,170 new jobs. [Columbia Business Report, 12/6/2022]
- The factory will supply battery cells to BMW’s electric vehicle factory in Spartanburg, SC.
- A joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions will invest an additional $275 million in its Spring Hill, TN plant to bolster battery production for electric vehicles. [Detroit Free Press, 12/2/2022]
- This investment is in addition to a pre-existing $2.3 billion investment announced in 2021. Once fully operational, the investment will expand output by over 40%.
- Hyundai and SK ON will invest $4 billion on a new gigafactory in an Atlanta suburb. [Fortune,12/8/2022]
- The gigafactory, which will supply batteries for Hyundai and Kia EVs, is expected to begin production by 2025 and employ 3,500 people.
- Rivian (RIVN) announced that it will use wind energy to power up to 75% of its factory in Normal, Illinois. [Electrek, 12/5/2022]
- This decision is part of a signed new power purchase agreement, allotting 50 MW of wind energy to power the Illinois factory.
- Air Products and AES announced that they are planning to build a $4 billion green hydrogen plant in North Texas. [Wall Street Journal, 12/8/2022]
- The joint venture will produce 73,000 metric tons of hydrogen a year, making it the largest plant powered by wind and solar in the U.S.
New reports detail the attainment of a renewable energy takeover by 2025, and the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax incentives are leading to more wind projects and battery storage:
- A new report from the International Energy Agency projects renewable energy will overtake coal as the largest source of energy by 2025. [New York Times, 12/6/2022]
- The report also projects renewable energy capacity will double by 2027.
- The Inflation Reduction Act’s standalone credits for energy storage will lead to more wind projects and battery storage crucial to eliminating fossil fuel from the grid. [World Economic Forum, 12/5/2022]
- The climate law extends tax credits for wind and solar for the next ten years and, for the first time, will allow developers to gain investment tax credits for standalone energy storage and wind-plus storage projects.
The Biden Administration announced new hallmark initiatives to cut energy use at home and facilitate the first-ever government sale of offshore wind leases off of California. Efforts to accelerate solar energy development are expanding across the American West:
- The White House announced the first-ever Federal Building Performance Standard, which will cut energy use and fully electrify equipment in 30% of Federal building space by 2030. [White House press release, 12/7/2022]
- Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced new steps to accelerate solar energy development on public lands across the West. [Department of the Interior press release, 12/5/2022]
- The Bureau of Land Management will develop a plan to guide solar energy development on public lands. The Bureau is also beginning reviews of three proposed solar projects in Arizona, which could add 1 GW of clean energy to the grid.
- Over 40 companies are expected to participate in the first U.S. government sale of offshore wind leases off the coast of California. [Bloomberg, 12/6/2022]
- The lease areas are estimated to support 4.5 GW of electricity production from floating wind projects.
From state elections to House Committee wins, Democrats are ensuring climate wins, spearheaded by the Inflation Reduction Act, as we head into a new Congress:
- No single climate investment this year will go further than the $369 billion provided by the Inflation Reduction Act to catalyze renewables and cut emissions. [TIME, 12/8/2022]
- Analysts say the climate law will continue to dramatically cut U.S. emissions and incentivize trillions more in private investment in coming years.
- Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia will change the climate game in the Senate. [E&E News, 12/7/2022]
- With a 51-seat majority in the next Congress, the longest period in history with an evenly divided Senate comes to an end. Senator Warnock will be a key voice on climate regarding Senate committee voting.
- The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held its final hearing Tuesday, looking back on some big wins as a surprising legislative powerhouse. [E&E News, 12/7/2022]
- The committee gave lawmakers a venue to discuss climate policy from virtually every angle, playing a crucial role in developing the policy ideas that eventually became the Inflation Reduction Act. Looking ahead, the Democratic staff plans to release an additional report next week outlining the policies that have already been enacted by Congress and further steps to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions.
And other countries are starting to take note. The Inflation Reduction Act has become a call to European leaders to take further climate action:
- Over the weekend, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act constituted a “new assertive industrial policy” and that Europe needed a “structural answer.” [TechCrunch, 12/7/2022]