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In "Defense" of Clean Energy

White House signs series of executive orders on heat pumps, grid

This week’s Defense Production Act (DPA) authorization specifically targets solar technology, heat pumps, insulation, green hydrogen, and grid components like transformers.

On June 6, the White House authorized the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies – "unlocking new powers to meet this moment", it said in a statement, and ostensibly sending a message that climate change is a national security issue.

Heat pumps are getting a boost in governmental funding.—Department of Energy photo

Specifically, the decision authorizes the Department of Energy 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, which heat and cool buildings super efficiently;

  • Equipment for making and using clean electricity-generated fuels, including electrolyzers, fuel cells, and related platinum group metals; and

  • Critical power grid infrastructure like transformers.

In deploying the DPA, the Biden-Harris Administration contends it "will strongly encourage the use of strong labor standards, including project labor agreements and community benefits agreements that offer wages at or above the prevailing rate and include local hire provisions." The Administration also "will strongly encourage projects with environmental justice outcomes that empower the clean energy transition in low-income communities historically overburdened by legacy pollution."

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