Passed in August, the IRA contains $374 billion in energy and climate provisions, including tax credits for electric vehicles and incentives for clean-energy projects, in what the White House says is the largest-ever single investment to address climate change. Hydrogen, an emissions-free combustible gas when made using renewable energy, has been touted as a key alternative to fossil fuels but is still seen as too costly to compete with oil, natural gas and coal.
The IRA and Canada’s announcement of a similar policy last week may change that, Vidgen said. “There’s been quite a step change only in the last couple of months” in hydrogen’s outlook, she said.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had positive and negative effects on the switch to green energy sources, but will ultimately “accelerate” the energy transition, Vidgen said.
“What we’re seeing is a number of countries really focused on energy security and energy independence, and so that means you’re seeing much more in terms of government policy globally, which will be supportive of accelerating private capital investment,” she said.
Macquarie is a major investor in clean energy through the Green Investment Group, which it acquired from the UK government in 2017. Vidgen said wind and solar were now mature investments, and the company was now turning to emerging technologies such as batteries, sustainable fuels and hydrogen.