US: SEIA backs ITC extension proposal

A proposal by U.S. Representative Mike Thompson to introduce a five-year extension to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has earned the backing of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

The proposed legislation – labeled the New Energy for America Act – would extend Section 25D of the federal tax code for residential and commercial solar installations by a further five years.

In presenting his proposal, Congressman Thompson said that a five-year extension to the ITC would enable solar PV to reach grid parity in most U.S. states, and his bullishness has been backed by SEIA president and CEO Rhone Resch, who spoke gushingly about the positive impact the ITC has had on the U.S. solar landscape.

"The solar ITC is paying huge dividends for America," said Resch. “Today, the U.S. solar industry is pumping $18 billion a year into our economy and creating tens of thousands of new jobs. By 2016 we will be generating enough clean solar energy nationwide to power eight million homes, offsetting 45 million metric tons of damaging carbon emissions.

"We applaud Congressman Thompson for his continued leadership on issues vital to our economy and environment."

A recent report from the SEIA tracked solar’s progress in the U.S. over the past decade and found that the huge strides made in the industry so far are certain to be maintained into 2016, with around 40 GW of extra PV capacity added nationwide by the end of next year.

An extension to the ITC, which is due to expire at that date, will further propel the solar industry forward, building on the successes that have made solar "the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in America", according to Resch.

The SEIA added that the ITC had already underpinned the bulk of solar’s success, including helping to grow investment in the sector to $71 billion nationwide, creating 150,000 jobs since 2006, and pushing solar installation growth to a compound annual growth rate of 76% over the past decade.

"Congressman Thompson’s legislation will help to level the playing field with established sources, promote competition in the marketplace and encourage entrepreneurial solutions to meet our nation’s energy needs.

"It’s an important bridge to the future, which will benefit our economy, environment and national security."