A game-changing bill has been passed by the US Senate, paving the way for billions of US dollars of spending to fight climate change and reinstating the US as a credible key player in the effort to keep global warming under control, write Edward Lees and Ulrik Fugmann of the Environmental Strategies Group. 
The USD 430 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) seeks to tackle climate change, as well as lower drug prices and raise corporate taxes. A vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is viewed as a formality before the bill is passed to President Joe Biden to be signed into law this week.
Last week’s Senate compromise on the package of measures had come as a surprise to markets. The proposals were seen as the ‘most ambitious climate action ever taken by the US’ (New York Times) and include tax incentives to ramp up wind, solar, geothermal and other clean energy industries over the next decade.
The bill is called the ‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022’, to distinguish it from the ambitious multitrillion-dollar Build Back Better plan that Democrats in Congress spent most of last year toiling to pass. The name underscores the deflationary effect that clean energy technology is expected to have in the medium to longer term. 
We had long held the contrarian view that after the failure of the Build Back Better plan, we would see a significant US climate bill voted through during the summer.
This was based on our assessment that clean energy investments are ultimately deflationary. They also help address the hot topic of energy security in the face of the war in Ukraine. We also believe that US power infrastructure is in a dire condition  and needs cheap, greener and reliable power.
What IRA means: Clean energy
Here are some examples:
- A 90% increase in utility-scale solar installations in 2024
- A 60% increase in onshore wind installations every year to 2030
- Leading green hydrogen producers potentially now being paid to produce clean hydrogen
- Electrochromic glass now on price parity with traditional windows.
What IRA means: Climate
This legislation is a significant breakthrough for three reasons:
- It turbocharges US clean energy investment with USD 369 billion in incentives, and dramatically reduces the long-term expected price of electricity in the US as a result
- It puts the US back on the front foot when negotiating global climate agreements; this could drive further sympathetic policy from other countries
- It could allow the US to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade.
What IRA means: Clean tech
The bill looks set to reshape investment in the US renewable industry for the rest of the decade.
Specifically, the policies include efforts to:
- Lower consumer energy costs
- Enhance energy security and promote domestic manufacturing
- Drive decarbonisation
- Enhance environmental justice
- Help farmers and rural areas.
Significant policies include:
- Long-term extension of Investment Tax Credits and Product Tax Credits: As such, this gives visibility to renewable companies seeking to invest in the space, which could drive significant investment. There is a potential 10% ITC credit for projects that meet domestic content hurdles for components and a further 10% for systems installed in low-income communities.
- PTCs will be re-established for wind, nuclear, biomass, hydro, and, for the first time since 2006, solar. This is a benefit for existing US manufacturers and we would expect to see significant investment in US capacity as a result over the coming years.
- For solar, the extended longevity of the tax credit will just give more visibility to consumers and installers looking to grow. A Princeton study expects solar deployment to increase 5x from 2020 under the Inflation Reduction Act.
- For wind, we are seeing forecasts for a 60%+ increase in annual wind installations over the next eight years.
- For the first time, there is a tax credit for low-carbon hydrogen. We view this as game-changing legislation for market-leading green hydrogen producers in the US.
- The inclusion of energy storage in the bill should supercharge the adoption of residential storage and lead to significant growth for residential solar financing and solar companies. We view this as a major tailwind for energy storage manufacturers and installers.
What IRA means: Electric vehicles
- Tax credits of USD 4 000 for used EVs and USD 7 500 for new EVs. To be eligible, the EVs must be assembled in North America. After 2023, any vehicles with Chinese battery components would not be eligible.
- Critical minerals must come from the US or a country that has a free-trade agreement with the US.
- Applicable only on cars up to USD 55 000, and trucks, vans and SUVs up to USD 80 000
- Additionally, the existing credit cap of 200 000 vehicles per manufacturer has been removed and is available through 2032.
This has meaningful implications, not least on the raw materials side, where critical minerals manufacturers and EV manufacturers based in the US could see a significant competitive advantage.
With running costs for internal combustion engines now higher due to the increase in petrol costs, the price reduction for EVs can only help demand growth.
 Progress on clean energy could be derailed without an overhaul of the electricity infrastructure – a task some industry experts say requires more than USD 2 trillion. The network is decaying with age and underinvestment, a condition highlighted by failures during increasingly frequent and severe weather events. Source: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-renewables-electric-grid/