Biden Opens up the Taps for Clean Energy

In either a blitzkrieg of sustainability guilt or laying the foundation of a political legacy prior to next year’s elections, the White House has ramped up its clean energy plans.  

Firstly, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), of which clean energy is a central pillar, has claimed its first, err, victim. Namely, Europe.

Norwegian manufacturer Nel has decided to locate a $500 million dollar factory in Michigan. The plant will produce the equipment which extracts hydrogen from water. Both the enticing American subsidies and relative lack of red tape have been cited as the reasons. The latter is a continued source of frustration in the EU, prompting the CEO of Hydrogen Europe to lament, “In their typical bureaucratic way, the Europeans will kill this business of clean energy”.  

Secondly, in a blizzard of Three Letter Acronyms (TLA), the DOE released an NOI, which includes an RFI in support of the IRA. And you thought abbreviations were invented to simplify!

Basically, this means the US Government is going to invest $1bn in the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs. H2hubs are ecosystems across the country comprising hydrogen producers, local connectivity infrastructure and consumers. The aim? A carbon-free grid by 2035. The end-game? Net-zero emissions by 2050. Simply, clean energy.

Gaining Momentum

Motivations aside (as hinted at in first paragraph), this train is finally leaving the station and it will be difficult to halt its progress. The earlier-mentioned fact about a Norwegian company relocating to the US and thereby costing Europe 500+ jobs is unfortunate. But it will almost certainly act as a protectionist motivator for a region that’s already making gigantic strides in clean energy. The recent greenlight for Ibero to establish windfarms throughout Spain and Western Europe has already been covered by Inside Telecom.

If we’re shaping up for a transatlantic war to see who can produce the most clean energy, bring it on.

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