Solar Manufacturing Receives Boost from Obama

Strengthened tax credit will create more jobs, regain American leadership in solar manufacturing

WASHINGTON, DC - Today President Barack Obama called on Congress to direct an additional $5 billion for tax credits to bring more domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment, such as solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) panels. Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement:


"A decade ago, we made more than 40 percent of all solar panels. Since then other countries have supported clean tech manufacturing while the U.S. rested on our laurels. The result is that today we manufacture less than 10 percent and China has leap frogged us as the world's largest producer. But the President recognizes that the U.S. can and should be the global manufacturer of solar products. An additional $5 billion to stimulate the domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment is a good first step and will create good jobs in America, especially in the nation's industrial centers, like the Midwest, which have been hardest hit by the recession.

"Ironically, oil producers receive a permanent 'manufacturing' tax credit, but solar, wind and other clean technologies do not. This policy will begin to level the playing field between the polluting, obsolete fossil energy technologies and the new, clean renewable energy industries.

"This is a great step to creating more jobs and harnessing the clean energy that Americans demand. But to really create significant, long-term job growth and be a global leader in solar, we need leaders in Congress to step up with President Obama to extend the Department of Treasury Grant Program that expires in December for two years. This will keep the solar industry growing, even as the rest of the economy only begins to rebound. Combined, these policies will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and will move us toward the solar industry's goal of powering two million more homes each year by 2015."

Background Materials:
SEIA MITC Fact Sheet
Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit Projects (58 solar manufacturing plants)
SEIA TGP Fact Sheet
Treasury Grant Program Projects (640 solar projects)
Impact on Job Growth of Treasury Grant Extension and Solar ITC Manufacturing Expansion
"Dear Colleague" letter supporting Treasury Grant program extension
Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) Support Letter
Lawrence Berkeley TGP Report Highlights (focus on wind, geothermal)
2009 Solar Industry Year in Review

About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the solar energy industry. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 members to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Learn more at www.seia.org.

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