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US Act makes RE components cheaper than imports, adds 4 mn jobs: Study

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Made-in-USA wind- and solar-power components could soon prove cheaper than imports, helping add 4 million new jobs in the country's renewables sector, according to a report by researchers at top US varsities Dartmouth and Princeton.

The researchers evaluated the impact of the US government's Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) on the country's wind and solar industry.

They covered changes to US wind and solar manufacturing, labor standards, job creation and demand for raw materials, with special focus on the impact of IRA's clean electricity production and investment tax credits.

Jason Walsh, Executive Director of the Blue Green Alliance, that funded the research, said the report showed that the IRA "successfully creates an air-tight business case for supporting US workers and manufacturers."

Other major findings of the report include:

  • The IRA will significantly increase demand for US-made aluminum, cement, and steel for use in solar and wind projects. These industries could use incentives under the IRA to cut emissions while expanding production
  • Solar and onshore wind farm developers that meet prevailing US wage and apprenticeship standards could see production cost drop more than 60 percent, as any increase in project cost for meeting labor standards is more than offset by full credit
  • Offshore wind projects will see costs decline about 20 percent if projects meet labor standards, vis-à-vis projects that do not 

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