WASHINGTON — Following is a statement from Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on the inclusion of a five-year solar investment tax credit (ITC) extension in the omnibus appropriations bill filed this morning by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“By extending the solar investment tax credit for five years with a commence construction provision and a gradual ramp down, bipartisan members in both Houses have reestablished America as the global leader in clean energy, which will boost our economy and create thousands of jobs across America.
Currently there are 200,000 solar jobs, and the extension is likely to add another 140,000 jobs or more. And with this extension, the solar industry can achieve its pledge of employing 50,000 veterans by 2020, a goal our industry takes very seriously. These jobs are stable, well-paying and cannot be exported overseas.
A five-year extension of the ITC will lead to more than $125 billion in new, private sector investment in the U.S. economy. And much of this growth will come from small businesses, which make up more than 85 percent of America’s 8,000 solar companies. Over the last year, these companies told us they needed the extension of the ITC to provide their businesses with certainty, and SEIA has been working tirelessly to achieve that goal. Tonight, we’re happy to see that Congress has responded.
Solar power in this nation will triple by 2022, hitting 95 gigawatts. That’s enough to power 19 million homes and represents 3.5 percent of U.S. electricity generation- up from 0.1 percent in 2010. And the extension will offset 100 million metric tons of CO2 annually- equivalent to the emissions from 26 coal fired power plants.
We commend members of Congress in both parties for taking this bold step and we look forward to delivering on the promise that this policy now offers all Americans for clean, affordable and reliable energy.”
Celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2015, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.