Why Treasury Secretary Yellen traveled to the political battleground state of Georgia She visited a solar cell factory to highlight the domestic manufacturing incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar energy accounts for more than half the new power added to the grid last year.

Why Treasury Secretary Yellen traveled to the political battleground state of Georgia

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1241357529/1241357530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to the political battleground state of Georgia this week. NPR's Scott Horsley reports she was there to highlight the Biden administration's efforts to promote clean energy.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Solar energy accounts for more than half the new power added to the U.S. grid last year. During a campaign-style swing through Georgia, Secretary Yellen said the Biden administration is trying to encourage families to invest in solar. She says it will not only save the money on their utility bills, but also cut down on greenhouse gases.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JANET YELLEN: As families install rooftop solar or use other credits to purchase electric vehicles, we also move our country, household by household, toward this future.

HORSLEY: During this election year, the Biden administration is touting its efforts to encourage buying solar products and building them here in the United States. After touring the Suniva solar factory in Norcross, Ga., Yellen talked up tax breaks in the Inflation Reduction Act designed to promote domestic manufacturing.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YELLEN: These credits change the economics of clean energy investment across the United States, making it more profitable and predictable to build factories here at home.

HORSLEY: The Suniva factory is about to start making solar cells for the first time in seven years. The factory was shuttered back in 2017, unable to compete with cheaper solar cells imported from overseas. Suniva President Matt Card says he's looking forward to this spring's reopening.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MATT CARD: Over the last three weeks, Suniva has hired over 100 new workers, providing good-paying, full-time jobs. These workers represent the very backbone and promise of our country's transition to clean energy.

HORSLEY: Yellen cautioned that Suniva and other domestic manufacturers will still face competition from heavily subsidized rivals in China. The Treasury secretary promised to raise that concern with her Chinese counterparts. In the meantime, the U.S. government is offering lots of subsidies of its own.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2024 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.