Calling it "critically important to America's future"
LAS VEGAS, NV - Calling it "critically important to America's future," the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today launched a national campaign to extend the 30 percent solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) past 2016 by emphasizing tax fairness.
SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch announced the campaign before a raucus crowd at the opening session of Solar Power International (SPI), the largest solar trade show in America, with nearly 20,000 people expected to attend. The campaign will begin in earnest in 2015, when a new Congress is sworn in.
"Since the United States first began incentivizing energy development, the average annual subsidy has been $4.8 billion for oil and gas, compared to just $370 million for all renewable technologies," Resch said.
"How is this fair? How is this a leveling playing field? How does this kind of policy support an 'all-of-the-above' energy policy? Simply put, it doesn't."
Since the ITC went into effect in 2006, solar investment has exploded. Solar installations in 2014 will be 70 times higher than they were in 2006, and by the end of this year, there will be nearly 30 times more installed solar capacity. There are also more than 143,000 Americans currently employed in solar.
"We've gone from being an $800-million industry in 2006 to a $15-billion industry today," Resch continued. "The price to install a solar rooftop system has been cut in half, while utility systems have dropped by 70 percent. It's taken the U.S. solar industry 40 years to install the first 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar. Now, we're going to install the next 20 GW in the next two years.
"And finally, during every single week of this year we're going to install more capacity than what we did during the entire year in 2006. Tell me that's not worth fighting for," Resch told the cheering crowd.