Originally published on SolarLove.org
Announcing its support for legislation extending the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for both residential and commercial solar installations, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said it will provide a big boost to the US economy, while also helping to fight pollution and climate change.
Introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5), the New Energy for America Act (H.R. 2412) would extend Section 25D of the federal tax code for residential energy-efficient property, as well as the Section 48 commercial ITC, for an additional 5 years.
Hailing the Success of the ITC
In introducing his legislation, Congressman Thompson, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said a 5-year extension of the ITC will give the solar industry time to reach “grid parity” in most US electricity markets.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) CEO and President Rhone Resch pointed out in a recent statement, “The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is paying huge dividends for America.” Resch continued, “Today, the U.S. solar industry is pumping $18 billion a year into our economy and creating tens of thousands of new jobs. By 2016, we will be generating enough clean solar energy nationwide to power 8 million homes, offsetting 45 million metric tons of damaging carbon emissions – the equivalent of removing 10 million cars off our roads and highways.”
Hailing the new ITC extension, Resch added, “We applaud Congressman Thompson for his continued leadership on issues vital to our economy and environment – and thank all of the original co-sponsors for joining him in this important effort to build a clean energy future for America.”
By any measurement, Resch said, the solar ITC has been successful:
• More than 97 percent of all installed solar capacity in the US has come online since the ITC was extended in 2006.
• Today, 20 states have topped 100 megawatts (MW) in cumulative capacity. Only one state had that much solar in 2006.
• More than $71 billion has been invested in solar installations nationwide, with $66 billion of that total coming since 2006.
• More than 150,000 new solar jobs have been created since 2006.
Solar Installations Have Exploded Due to the ITC
Providing important market certainty, the ITC encourages companies to make long-term investments that drive competition and technological innovation, while lowering costs to consumers and spurring the economy.
Because of the certainty provided by the ITC and other stable public policies, solar installations have exploded, growing by more than 1,600 percent over the past decade – a compound annual growth rate of 76 percent. Helping to fight pollution and global warming, 32% of all new electric generating capacity came from solar energy in 2014.
SEIA CEO Rhone Resch noted, “Today, solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America.” He continued, “Congressman Thompson’s legislation will help to level the playing field with established energy sources, promote competition in the marketplace and encourage entrepreneurial solutions to meet our nation’s energy needs. It’s an important ‘bridge to the future,’ which will benefit our economy, environment and national security.”
Original co-sponsors of the legislation include: Reps. Matt Cartwright (PA-17); Tony Cardenas (CA-29); Earl Blumenauer (OR-3); Richard Neal (MA-1); Ben Ray Lujan (NM-3); Scott Peters (CA-52); Chris Van Hollen (MD-8); Paul Tonko (NY-20); Bill Keating (MA-9); Peter Welch (VT-At-Large); Doris Matsui (CA-6); Ted Lieu (CA-33); Linda Sanchez (CA-38); Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-9); Jared Huffman (CA-2); Raul Ruiz (CA-36); Keith Ellison (MN-5); Brendan Boyle (PA-13); Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2); Jim McDermott (WA-7); and Steve Cohen (TN-9).
Picture credit: wikimedia commons.