Apr 16, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios Event: Funding from IRA, Defense Production Act aim to strengthen domestic clean energy industries

Axios’ Jael Holzman on stage with Rep. Carter. Credit: Hector Emanuel for Axios.

Axios' Jael Holzman on stage with Rep. Carter. Credit: Hector Emanuel for Axios.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act continues to take shape at federal and state levels, policymakers and companies are figuring out how to maximize incentives and investments to bolster domestic supply chains.

  • Axios Pro's Jael Holzman moderated discussions on this very topic with DOE office of manufacturing and energy supply chains director Giulia Siccardo and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) at a reception event.

Why it matters: Several avenues of federal funding supporting clean energy manufacturing are aiming to improve U.S. competitiveness in emerging energy industries from heat pumps to electric vehicles.

This event was sponsored by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

What they're saying: The Biden administration is employing funding from the Defense Production Act to build up U.S. industries that support the energy transition.

  • "We were authorized by Congress to be able to activate the Defense Production Act across five different technologies: heat pumps, insulation, solar, grid components and electrolyzers," Siccardo said. "We were given funding for heat pumps, so that's where we started. We were able to put out over $100 million of funding going to U.S. manufacturers of heat pumps across heat pump supply chains that are going to fill in critical needs."

Georgia is benefitting from investment in the electric vehicle industry with Hyundai announcing plans to create a massive plant in the state. "We've got the single largest economic development project in the history of our state in my district … a $5.5 billion dollar investment by Hyundai to build electric vehicles. It's going to create 8,100 jobs," Carter said.

Yes, but: Carter maintained that consumers rather than the government should be the driving force behind the electric vehicle transition.

  • "I would maintain that this movement, if you will, that this direction that we're going [in] with renewables and with electric vehicles especially, needs to be market driven, needs to be consumer driven. Any time you have the federal government choosing winners and losers, I think consumers lose, and that's where I have the problem at."

Content from sponsored segment below:

In a View From the Top conversation, NEMA president and CEO Debra Phillips said we're currently in an "electrical renaissance" and noted that demand for electricity in the U.S. is only expected to grow in the coming years.

  • "Most forecasts are that U.S. electricity demand is going to go up by 50% to 100% by 2050, that's a huge amount of demand coming online, and that's going to change our entire electrical and energy ecosystem."
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