Hydrogen and US public policy


When the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law in August 2022 it redrew not only US policy, with $370bn-worth of incentives and tax credits, but caused ripples across every continent. Suddenly, the US was the place to invest in clean energies – and especially low-carbon hydrogen.

Of course, the legislation didn’t stand alone in splendid isolation. It built on the foundational climate and clean energy actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration and on investments that Biden secured in his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (or Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), which was signed in November 2021. Many other initiatives policies also form part of the picture.

The IRA is far from the finished article, with some clear gaps in its provisions that still need to be addressed, such as the support that is built in for sequestering carbon dioxide that appears to threaten the merchant CO2 market if the playing field isn’t clarified.

It is also uncertain whether clean-energy supply chains are ready to meet the expected additional demand. There is no funding provided for international climate financing efforts, nor is it clear how US efforts would fit into considerations of Article 6 or carbon border adjustments.

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