Happy birthday, Inflation Reduction Act, you amazing infant American law

New projects have come to various parts of America each month since the acts passed

Photo by Swapnil Bhagwat on Unsplash

Wednesday, August 16 marked the first anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Biden’s attempt to transform the #US into the Mecca of green investment.

It had the administration throwing a first birthday bash for the IRA in the East Room of the White House. Attempts are also underway to promote the IRA across the country, highlighting the incentives it provides for domestic manufacturing of clean-energy infrastructure and technology.

About time too.

Most people seem to have no idea the law exists, with fewer than three in 10 Americans saying they know a good amount or a great deal about the IRA.

Knowledge of the Chips and Science Act, passed within days of the IRA last year, is probably at the same dismal level, or even lower.

This despite the astonishing effect both laws have had on America’s present as well as its prospects.

Together, they offer more than $400bn in tax credits, loans and subsidies for the domestic development of clean technology as well as a semiconductor supply chain. The Financial Times (FT) recently identified “more than 110 large-scale manufacturing announcements — including in semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries and solar and wind parts — spurred by the landmark legislation”.

The paper noted that new projects have come to various parts of America “each month since the acts passed”. Just in August, for example, Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies announced a $1bn solar panel facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico and US manufacturer First Solar picked Iberia Parish, Louisiana for its fifth factory, worth $1.1bn. The latter, said the FT, is the largest capital investment in the area’s history.

The implications are immense for jobs, growth and change, political, economic, social, cultural. It’s not hard to see this as a moment that America starts to renew its promise to itself. Best to get the word out so it knows what it’s doing.

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