SEIA has an ambitious but achievable goal – solar energy will constitute 20% of all U.S. electricity generation by 2030. To reach this target, we must grow our industry by 18% annually and install more than 500 gigawatts (“GW”) of solar projects by the end of 2030, building upon the nearly 100 GW of solar energy capacity that exists today. Achieving the 20% by 2030 goal will result in hundreds of thousands of new jobs, more than 14 million solar rooftops, and 500 million metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions.
President Biden’s climate plan calls for ambitious carbon emissions reductions with an emphasis on environmental justice and well-paying jobs. The solar industry strongly and unequivocally supports all of these endeavors.
COVID-19 is Harming Tax Equity Financing At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we heard scattered reports of medium- and long-term decreases to the availability of tax equity financing, as well as those who faced immediate challenges.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit Has Spurred Job Creation The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history and has helped the industry grow by more than 10,000% since it was enacted in 2006. A long-term extension of the ITC was passed by Congress in bipartisan fashion in 2015. This extension included a phasedown schedule that began at the end of 2019. The current 26% credit will step down to 22% at the end of 2020. Before the COVID-19 recession, solar companies added more than 150,000 U.S.
A great way to build a relationship with your elected official and demonstrate how important your company, and the solar industry, is to the community is to invite them to visit your company headquarters. Tours at your facility or a new project site provides a great opportunity for your elected official to meet your employees and to discuss your company’s issues and concerns in depth.
Major U.S. businesses are choosing solar at a rapid rate to power their operations. SEIA’s Solar Means Business Report tracks a variety of commercial solar installations, including the top 25 corporate solar users, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies.
The United States faces a momentous election in 2020. Regardless of the outcome, 2021 will be a pivotal time for the federal government to take steps that increase the deployment of renewable energy, address climate change, and create economic opportunity nationwide. The onset of COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief the need for long-term thinking on workforce development, infrastructure, resilience, equity and economic recovery. The U.S. can address all of these needs by investing in a clean, affordable electricity system.
We can rebuild our economy better than before by enacting commonsense policies that spur longterm growth for solar, including modifying the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), streamlining the permitting process for solar projects, supporting domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies, and investing in our nation’s electricity infrastructure. Investing in solar energy can create hundreds of thousands of jobs while addressing climate change and lowering costs for consumers.
As Congress looks to put Americans back to work in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the clean energy economy offers an enormous opportunity. Clean energy industries such as solar were among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy before the pandemic hit, with significant potential to create new jobs and spur the investments that are needed to put the U.S. back on track.