Public policy and government action, whether at the local, state, or federal level, will be critical to tackling the climate crisis and building a clean energy future in America. As an industry that deploys clean, reliable, affordable electricity, SEIA recognizes the critical role for environmental justice in these policy discussions, and the need for climate solutions to take into account the disproportionate impacts felt by frontline communities.
The latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report makes it clear that the solar industry will see historic growth over the next decade. In fact, the report’s forecasts show the U.S. solar market will grow 4x by 2030 and reach over 419 gigawatts (GW) of capacity. And yet despite these encouraging trends, if we are going to meaningfully boost the economy and tackle the climate crisis, we will need strong policies.
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.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Tax Policy have re-introduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act. The bill includes several key solar provisions, including a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), and a direct pay option for large projects when claiming the ITC. Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on the re-introduction of this critical legislation:
Last year was a year like no other, filled with pain and suffering, resilience, bravery and immense uncertainty. The holidays, normally a time to unwind and decompress with loved ones, looked much different this year for most Americans.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress has passed broad end-of-year legislation that includes significant benefits for solar energy. The full legislative package combines a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and an omnibus spending bill for 2021 with tax extenders and energy policy changes. The legislation provides a two-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and additional funding for research and development, including on soft costs critical to distributed energy deployment and support for more sensible access to federal lands for renewable energy projects.
American families, businesses, and communities are all going solar because it saves them money and adds predictability during these difficult times. In addition to generating local tax revenue, solar cuts electricity costs. This can help small businesses stay afloat and can help schools direct funds to teacher salaries and classroom upgrades.
I want to share our vision for the next decade, and more specifically, for our new President-elect. It goes without saying that this is an exciting time to be in the solar industry. We are now 32x bigger than we were a decade ago and this $18 billion industry supports American families in every state. Solar is a job-creating engine with bipartisan support and helps to bring clean, affordable electricity to millions.