Evaluating Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on the U.S. Power System

Daniel Steinberg, Maxwell Brown, Ryan Wiser, Paul Donohoo-Vallett, Pieter Gagnon, Anne Hamilton, Matthew Mowers, Caitlin Murphy, Ashreeta Prasanna

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, commonly referred to as the 'Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL),' collectively represent the largest commitment of the U.S. Federal Government to invest in the modernization and decarbonization of the U.S. energy system. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that total support for the broad range of climate and clean energy programs, tax credits, and other incentives authorized through the two laws will exceed $430 billion from 2022 through 2031 (CRS 2022; CBO 2021, 2022). While the climate and clean energy provisions are numerous and have the potential to impact all aspects of the U.S. energy system from fuel and electricity production to final consumption in industry, transportation, and buildings, the provisions relevant to the electricity sector - in particular the suite of tax credits for clean generation, storage, and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage - are expected to be some of the most consequential in terms of emissions reduction and clean energy deployment (Larsen et al. 2022; Jenkins, Mayfield, et al. 2022; Mahajan et al. 2022; Zhao et al. 2022). In this report, we detail the methods and results of a study estimating the potential impacts of key provisions of IRA and BIL on the contiguous U.S. power sector from present day through 2030. The analysis employs an advanced power system planning model, the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS), to evaluate how major provisions from both laws impact investment in and operation of utility-scale generation, storage, and transmission, and, in turn, how those changes impact power system costs, emissions, and climate and health damages. While not exhaustive in capturing every provision, the analysis estimates the possible scale of power-sector impacts that could result from the modeled provisions in IRA and BIL. The study is structured around two scenarios to evaluate the potential impacts of both laws on the power sector: 1) No New Policy: A counter-factual scenario that reflects all Federal and state policies enacted as of September 2022, with exception to IRA and BIL, and assumes load growth consistent with the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2022 (AEO22) Reference case (EIA 2022a); 2) IRA-BIL: A scenario reflecting all Federal and state policies enacted as of September 2022, including key IRA and BIL provisions, most notably the investment and production tax credits for zero-carbon emitting electricity generation and storage (ITC and PTC), the tax credit for CO2 capture and storage (45Q), and the tax credit for existing nuclear plants (described further in Section 2.3). To account for the impacts of IRA and BIL on electrification, assumes increased load growth consistent with a scaled version of the Medium Electrification scenario from the Electrification Futures Study (Mai et al. 2018). These scenarios are simulated across seven sets of assumptions with varying projected future electricity market conditions, including technology costs and performance, natural gas prices, and the degree of availability, feasibility, and cost of development of renewable resources, electricity transmission, and CO2 pipeline, injection, and storage infrastructure. In addition, we simulate two sensitivities on the 'policy' treatment in which we vary key assumptions pertaining to the realized value of the clean electricity ITC and PTC: 1) the cost of monetization of tax credits, and 2) the level of bonus crediting realized by project developers. We demonstrate that IRA and BIL have the collective potential to drive substantial growth in clean electricity by 2030, while reducing costs for consumers, mitigating climate change, and decreasing the human health impacts of power sector emissions. However, we also demonstrate that if expected cost improvements of clean technologies are not realized and/or constraints on deployment driven by factors such as supply-chain challenges, regulatory hurdles, and the social acceptability of energy infrastructure development limit the rate of clean energy and associated infrastructure deployment (such as transmission), then the share of clean generation achieved and the associated emissions benefits realized may be substantively reduced.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-85242


  • Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
  • capacity
  • capture
  • carbon
  • CCS
  • electricity
  • expansion
  • Inflation Reduction Act
  • model
  • modeling
  • policy
  • power
  • renewable
  • storage
  • tax credit


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