Following is a statement from Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), on passage of the omnibus appropriations bill, which included a 5-year solar investment tax credit (ITC) extension.
"This historic vote brings the solar industry to the forefront of the conversation about American energy. The ITC extension makes America and its solar industry the world's preeminent producer of clean and affordable energy.
"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.
"Thanks to the ITC, solar energy will add 220,000 new jobs by 2020, and with this extension, the solar industry can achieve its pledge of employing 50,000 veterans. Clean solar energy will cut emissions by 100 million metric tons and replace dozens of dirty power plants. Importantly, in the follow up to the Paris accord, this establishes the United States as a model for the reduction of greenhouse gases.
"A five-year extension of the ITC will lead to more than $133 billion in new, private sector investment in the U.S. economy by 2020. And much of this growth will come from small businesses, which make up more than 85 percent of America's 8,000 solar companies.
"Solar power in this nation will more than triple by 2020, hitting 100 gigawatts. That's enough to power 20 million homes and represents 3.5 percent of U.S. electricity generation.
"The solar industry now has a seat at the table with the nation's other major electricity producers. Solar is the planet's most abundant source of energy and offers all Americans clean electricity that can be built at scale and will make our nation proud and prosperous as a world leader in a new energy paradigm."
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. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.