Industry Leaders Forecast Dramatic Growth in the
“This bill is a major step in our long journey toward energy independence and ensures that solar energy will be a significant part of
“On behalf of the 60,000 Americans employed by the solar energy industry, we would like to thank Leaders Reid and McConnell and Senators Baucus, Grassley, Cantwell and Ensign for their dogged support of the solar tax credit extension. In the House we are thankful to Leaders Pelosi, Hoyer, Boehner, and Blunt, and Chairman Rangel, Ranking Republican McCrery and Rep. Camp among many others who have long worked to bring solar energy to the mainstream. These leaders have broken through partisan politics and have provided a bright future for solar energy in the
“By passing this bill, Congress has finally given the solar energy industry ‘policy certainty’ that will attract investment, expand manufacturing and lower the cost of solar energy to consumers,” said Roger Efird, SEIA chairman and president of Suntech America, a leading Chinese solar power manufacturing company. “This will allow companies like mine to move forward with expansion plans to serve the growing
“This bill puts the sun to work for every American,” added Resch. “And by 2016, we expect solar energy to be the least expensive source of electricity for consumers.”
The solar investment tax credit (ITC) provisions will:
- Extend for 8 years the 30-percent tax credit for both residential and commercial solar installations;
- Eliminate the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations, creating a true 30-percent tax credit (effective for property placed in service after December 31, 2008);
- Eliminate the prohibition on utilities from benefiting from the credit;
- Allow Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) filers, both businesses and individuals, to take the credit;
- Authorize $800 million for clean energy bonds for renewable energy generating facilities, including solar.
The solar tax credits were originally enacted in the 2005 and have created unprecedented growth in the
“Over the last 2 years, these tax credits have turned the solar industry from a small, cottage industry into an economic engine for
According to a new economic study by Navigant Consulting, Inc., the 8-year extension of the ITC will create 440,000 permanent jobs and unleash $325 billion in private investment in the solar industry. This study did not factor in elimination of $2,000 monetary cap on the residential credit, so the actual job creation and investment could be even greater.
“This is a big boost for the residential market in particular, allowing homeowners to contribute to our nation’s energy independence,” said Efird. “It also opens the floodgates for building large, utility-scale solar power projects that need longer timeframes to complete.”
To date, there are 27 such utility-scale solar power projects totaling 5,400 megawatts of power in various stages of development; most were on hold due to uncertainty surrounding the expiring tax credits.
Because solar energy components are manufactured near their markets, this extension will create manufacturing and installation jobs in all 50 states. The states that will enjoy the largest economic boost are
Similarly, the economies of
According to the same study, more than 28 gigawatts of electricity will be produced from solar energy by 2016 – enough to power more than 7 million homes.
“Success has not come easy. It required a strategic campaign that included dedicated SEIA staff, a committed board, and active membership all focused on one goal. It took seven votes in the House and 10 votes in the Senate, but in the end, Congress came through. This effort has established SEIA as a major energy player on Capitol Hill,” said Resch. “We have a lot of opportunity in front of us and will be back next year to work on critical issues such as transmission infrastructure, renewable electricity standards, and combating global warming.”
Mark Sokolove (Tiger Communications), 703-302-8382, firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9.15.08 Navigant Consulting, Inc. “Economic Impacts of Extending Federal Solar Tax Credits”:http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/Navigant%20Consulting%20Report%209.15.08.pdf
- H.R. 1424 Bill Summary: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/HR_1424_Solar_Memo.pdf
- H.R. 1424 Full Bill Text: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/Fin_Stab_Bill_Text.pdf
- Background on the ITC: http://seia.org/cs/federal_issues/itc_resources
- 2007 Solar Energy Industry Year in Review: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/Year_in_Review_2007_sm.pdf
- House Solar Voting Scorecard: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/House_Score_Sheet_110_Congress_new.pdf
- Senate Solar Voting Scorecard: http://seia.org/galleries/pdf/Senate_Score_Sheet_110_Congress.pdf
About SEIA: Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of 750 solar energy manufacturers, project developers, distributors, contractors, installers, architects, consultants and financiers. Established in 1974, SEIA works to expand the use of solar technologies in the global marketplace, strengthen research and development, remove market barriers, and improve education and outreach for solar. Learn more at www.seia.org