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President Biden Invokes the Defense Production Act for Clean Energy

President Joe Biden is utilizing the Defense Production Act to increase clean energy production in the US, by placing a two-year freeze on tariffs for solar panels from Southeast Asia and scaling up domestic production. The actions include authorizing the DPA to accelerate the production of clean energy technologies, using federal procurement to spur domestic solar manufacturing, and creating a 24-month bridge for the reliable supply of components. The Department of Energy will use the DPA to expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies, including solar panel parts and critical power grid infrastructure.

President Joe Biden speaks during a visit the Flatirons Campus of the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Arvada, Colorado.
Credit: Werner Slocum/NREL

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden announced plans to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to boost clean energy in the United States by putting a two-year freeze on tariffs for solar panels coming to the country from Southeast Asia and simultaneously scaling up the domestic production of clean energy technologies. 

“Today’s clean energy technologies are a critical part of the arsenal we must harness to lower energy costs for families, reduce risks to our power grid, and tackle the urgent crisis of a changing climate,” said Biden’s release. It continued, saying the President is taking bold action to create an American-made clean energy future. Specific actions include: 

  • Authorizing the use of the DPA to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies, including solar panel parts,
  • Putting the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity by directing the development of master supply agreements, including “super preference” status, and
  • Creating a  24-month bridge as domestic manufacturing rapidly scales up to ensure the reliable supply of components that US solar deployers need to construct clean energy projects and an electric grid for the 21st century, while reinforcing the integrity of our trade laws and processes. 

“Together, these actions will spur domestic manufacturing, construction projects, and good-paying jobs—all while cutting energy costs for families, strengthening our grid, and tackling climate change and environmental injustice,” the release said.

More specifically, the President’s authorization gives the Department of Energy the ability to use the DPA to rapidly expand American manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies:

  • Solar panel parts like photovoltaic modules and module components,
  • Building insulation,
  • Heat pumps,
  • Equipment for making and using clean electricity-generated fuels, and
  • Critical power grid infrastructure like transformers.

You can learn more in the official White House Fact Sheet here.

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