Ford, GM & Rivian urge DOE to invest in clean aluminum

Key Points

  • 🚗 Ford, GM, Rivian, and other companies are urging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to invest in clean aluminum.
  • 💰 They propose using investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to revitalize the domestic aluminum industry, as primary aluminum production in the U.S. is in crisis.
  • 🏭 The IRA could supercharge aluminum-dependent clean energy technologies to meet the growing global demand for aluminum, with a forecasted 40% increase by 2030.
  • 🌱 The shift to electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy technologies like solar panels is expected to drive the demand for aluminum in the transport and renewable energy sectors.
  • 📜 Other companies, including PepsiCo, Sierra Nevada, and more, have joined the call to invest in clean aluminum, and the letter to Secretary Jennifer Granholm was published in major newspapers.

Ford, General Motors, Rivian, and other companies urged the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to invest in clean aluminum. 

The U.S. automakers and a few other companies wrote a letter to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm about using investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to revive and grow the aluminum industry in the United States.

“Today, primary aluminum production in the United States is in crisis. While global demand for primary aluminum is forecast to grow over the coming decades, domestic primary aluminum production has continued to decline and is at risk of disappearing,” noted the letter to Sec. Granholm. 

“The IRA is poised to make the largest-ever investment in U.S. manufacturing, supercharging aluminum-dependent clean energy technologies…In order to meet increased aluminum demand that will affect all our industries, the U.S. must invest heavily in supply,” argued the companies in the letter. 

The other companies that signed the letter to the DOE are PepsiCo, Sierra Nevada, SunPower, Ball, Olipop, Shacksbury, Oakland United Beerworks, Alternate Energy Technologies, Golden Aluminum, SunEarth, and T.S. Conductor. The letter to Secretary Granholm was published on full-page ads in five newspapers: the Albany Times-Union, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Lousiville Courier-Journal, the South Carolina Post and Courier, and the Indianapolis Star. All the newspapers mentioned previously are in a market catering to the remaining six primary smelters in the United States. 

A 2022 report forecasted that global demand for aluminum would increase about 40% by 2030. It stated that the aluminum sector would produce an additional 33.3 Mt to meet global demand growth— from 86.2 Mt in 2020 to 119.5 Mt by 2030.

According to the report, the shift from fossil fuel cars to electric vehicle (EV) production would increase the demand for aluminum in the transport sector to 31.7 Mt in 2030. Besides E.V.s, technology related to renewable energy—like solar panels—would also contribute to the rising demand for aluminum over the next decade. 

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