Solar industry exec has a message for Washington, D.C.: more than 300,000 jobs are not ‘ridiculous’

Include solar jobs in the next phase of federal stimulus spending.


KEY POINTS
  • Together, wind and solar energy represent hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs.
  • Tax credits help enable projects ranging in size from utility-scale to individual home and small businesses.
  • Include solar jobs in the next phase of federal stimulus spending.

Texas — John Billingsley, Chairman and CEO of both Tri Global Energy and Sunfinity Renewable Energy is strongly urging Wash., D.C. lawmakers to ensure the clean energy industry – particularly wind and solar jobs – is included in the next phase of federal stimulus spending to defend against the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Provisions for the wind and solar industries specifically were eliminated in the $2 trillion emergency bill approved on Thursday.

“Together, wind and solar energy represent hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs, billions of dollars in spending and tax revenues, and just as importantly, clean, renewable power for a better world,” Billingsley said. “President Trump tweeted about ‘the ridiculous Green New Deal’ and Republicans accused Democrat lawmakers of holding up the overall package with green initiatives, but this isn’t a political issue, it’s economics that is just as valid as airlines, hospitality, and many other important American industries.”

Billingsley stressed that support for the wind and solar industries comes without the need for an immediate loan or grant.

“Tax credits have been in place that help enable projects ranging in size from utility-scale wind and solar projects to solar systems for individual homeowners and small businesses,” he said. “Those tax credits have expiration dates, and we’re now facing significant potential delays due to COVID-19. Congress can support the clean energy industry simply by extending the safe harbor provisions, essentially freezing tax credits in place, and eliminate uncertainty and enable projects to move forward. Also, allowing developers to receive direct pay equal to the value of the credits helps ensure the availability of tax equity.”

“We want to continue helping to fuel the American economy and the American way of life, and we’re asking for our leadership in Congress to support us in that mission,” Billingsley said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

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