"Made in America" Week Highlights Need to Reinstate ITC to create 20,000 American Manufacturing jobs over five years
As the Trump Administration celebrates "Made in America" week, the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is calling on Congress and the administration to pass and sign into law H.R. 1090, the "Technologies for Energy Security Act."
Introduced by Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) Patrick Meehan (R-PA), and 17 original cosponsors, the bill now has more than 100 cosponsors from across the country, seeking to provide fair and equitable tax treatment for fuel cells and other qualifying technologies. In addition to H.R. 1090 a similar bill, S. 1409, was recently introduced in the Senate by Tom Carper (D-DE) and Dean Heller (R-NV).
At the end of 2015, Congress passed a bill that, among other things, provided a five-year phase down of a 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) exclusively for solar technology. The 2015 legislation omitted an extension for all of the other technologies previously eligible in the Section 48 ITC definition, including fuel cells.
"Fuel cells, an American-developed technology which were instrumental in getting a man to the moon, are almost exclusively manufactured in the United States. Passing the ‘Technologies for Energy Security Act' and signing it into law will preserve America's leadership in this area," said Morry B. Markowitz, President of FCHEA.
"Prior to the expiration of the ITC, more than 10,000 jobs across 46 states were attributed to suppliers, manufacturers and servicers of stationary and material handling fuel cells. Once fair and equal tax treatment is provided to fuel cells, our companies will create 20,000 more jobs in the next five years. These are good paying service and manufacturing jobs, often times filled by veterans. Extending the industry's ITC is also a smart investment in America's economic and energy security."
Many notable companies, facilities, and utilities are turning to stationary fuel cells for secure, baseload, onsite electricity serving as protection from grid outages caused by storms or physical or cyber-attack. They are also adopting fuel cells for material handling equipment to make warehouses and logistical centers operate more efficiently. Earlier this year, the US Department of Energy identified seven principles of energy security. Fuel cells offer across-the-board support for each element. Additionally, fuel cells utilize an abundant and clean domestic fuel—natural gas. Today, the fuel cell industry consumes more than $200 million a year worth of natural gas. As the industry grows, it will provide a clean and efficient end use for American natural gas.
"We are grateful for the support we have from lawmakers in both chambers. Now with ‘Made In America' week upon us, we want to remind Congress that despite the headwinds we face, our companies are working hard to keep fuel cell production here and grow American manufacturing jobs," declared Markowitz. "Reinstating and phasing out the ITC would make good on the promise to promote American made products, preserve American ingenuity and knowhow, strengthen our economy, and support the nation's energy security."