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In response to the Inflation Reduction Act, U.S. clean energy investments hit record highs, making renewables more financially viable.

One year after the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed in response to climate change, the U.S. has witnessed a surge in clean energy investments, even in coal-prominent states like Kentucky. The law offers a 30% tax credit for solar installations, making renewable energy financially viable for many Americans.

According to the American Clean Power Association, nearly 80 major clean energy manufacturing facilities have been announced, marking an investment equivalent to the previous seven years combined.

The IRA, hailed as America's most decisive response to climate change, aims to stimulate clean energy development at a scale that will reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions. The law targets cleaner transportation, causing a rise in demand for batteries and EV charging stations, according to tech giant Siemens.

The law also encourages more of the type of batteries that feed electricity to the grid when the wind is slack, or at night when the sun isn’t hitting solar panels. It could put the storage business on the same upward trajectory that solar blazed a decade ago, said Michael McGowan, head of North American infrastructure private markets for Mercer Alternatives, a consulting firm.

According to NBC News, the law also supports the battery storage industry, fostering growth similar to what solar experienced a decade ago. Moreover, the IRA is pushing technologies crucial for decarbonization, such as large, low-cost electrolyzers for hydrogen production.

However, despite this progress, concerns remain. Some Republicans have proposed repealing significant elements of the law, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the IRA's tax credits could cost about $270 billion over a decade. Additionally, the transition towards renewable energy might be hindered if the U.S. electric grid cannot accommodate the growth of wind and solar farms and the demands of mass vehicle charging.

The IRA has set a goal of reducing U.S. emissions by as much as 41% by 2030. While this goal is an improvement, it falls short of U.S. targets, and fossil fuels are expected to remain part of the energy mix for many decades to come. Despite the challenges, the trend towards renewable energy seems to be gaining momentum, with increasing numbers of homeowners and businesses recognizing the financial and environmental benefits.

Eunice is a sustainability writer whose passion is sharing accessible eco-friendly practices with GreenCitizen's global readership. She enjoys birdwatching during her downtime, often deriving inspiration from nature's resilience. An enthusiastic cyclist, she is also an ardent advocate of eco-friendly transport.

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