Aug 14, 2023 - Technology

The new climate law is upending the solar landscape

Projected impact of the Inflation Reduction Act on the U.S. solar market
Data: SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market Insight Report; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The year since passage of the big climate law has brought over $100 billion in U.S. solar and storage company investments.

Why it matters: New data from the Solar Energy Industries Association — a major industry trade group — on private investment suggests the law's subsidies for manufacturing and generation are significantly boosting industry activity levels.

  • The chart above shows how SEIA and the consultancy Wood Mackenzie see the law boosting power projects.

The big picture: On the manufacturing side, the last year has seen billions worth of project announcements from companies like First Solar, Maxeon and Qcells.

  • Overall, in the year since passage, there have been 51 new or expanded manufacturing projects announced, SEIA said.
  • "By 2026, the U.S. will have over 17 times its current manufacturing capacity across modules, cells, wafers, ingots, and inverters when these announced factories are in operation."

The bottom line: Counterfactuals are hard because the industry was growing already, but seems safe to say the new federal subsidies are accelerating activity — a lot.

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