An Eye on Solar Policy in the United States
SMA America Managing Director Pat Berry Shares His Impressions of What’s to Come
In the celebratory afterglow of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), SMA is strengthening its efforts in the region to continue building government relations at all levels. Pat Berry, managing director for SMA America sat down with Trish Moratto, Communications and PR Manager to discuss his hot take on what we can expect.
TM: Pat, what’s top of mind for you regarding policy in the U.S.?
PB: The IRA is the most meaningful topic we’re watching develop. We know the legislation will bring meaningful benefits to stakeholders across the industry. With $369 billion for energy and climate initiatives, the IRA is by far the biggest investment in U.S. history. And it goes well beyond just investing in solar—there’s 10+ years of tax credits for onshore/offshore wind, solar, storage, and hydrogen.
TM: How do you see this playing out in the market?
PB: Well, timewise, the legislation sets a goal of reducing carbon emissions by roughly 40% nationwide by 2030. By 2050, the IRA wants the U.S. to hit net-zero emissions. Obviously, these are lofty goals and will require an exciting amount of reliance on renewable energy. The IRA can also lead to several thousand jobs in the solar industry and among its suppliers, and that’s on top of the grid infrastructure modernization and R&D facilities. According to SEIA and Wood Mackenzie, the solar market will double from 2024. Cumulative solar installations across all market segments will almost triple, growing from 129 GW today to 336 GW in 2027.
There’s plenty of great stuff beyond the solar incentives, too, like cost-reduction policies for low-income households and provisions that encourage direct investment in U.S. manufacturing. All together, these things are sending us in the right direction.
TM: What does this mean for SMA America?
PB: In the short term, we’ve expanded a government relations team for the Americas. This task force is keeping a close eye on the anticipated changes and planning accordingly. At the same time, the domestic team is working closely with their German counterparts. The collaboration of these two teams’ synergy is unstoppable. We already have a solid foundation, based on our length of time in the market and our depth of experience. So, at SMA, we’re very well-poised to navigate in the upcoming ramp up.
TM: That all certainly appears to be encouraging news here at home. Can you provide any global context?
PB: Sure. In May of 2022, the U.S. and Germany signed a joint declaration establishing the climate and energy partnership. The partnership focuses on a few key areas—namely speeding up the expansion of climate energy objectives and the development and application of technology for energy transition. With Germany already being the second largest direct investor in the U.S. market, the partnership will only continue to deepen transatlantic relations as it further transforms.
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