Nevada Solar One Shows Need for Extending Tax Incentives

Not only does the world’s largest solar power plant built in the last decade provide clean, renewable energy, but it generated more than 800 jobs and $288 million in economic expenditures. Independent economic analysts project this project will have an annual economic impact of $14.6 million on the local economy. Nevada Solar One’s dedication is Friday, February 22.

These types of projects are economic engines, once built they create the green collar jobs that will be the economic driver of the 21st Century. But just when new green collar jobs are needed most – Congress is threatening to pull the plug. Congress failed to include the extension of the production tax credit and the investment tax credit for renewable energy in draft legislation last month.  Without action, these incentives are set to expire at the end of this year.

“Why Washington cannot get behind these types of projects is unfathomable,” said Brad Collins, executive director of the American Solar Energy Society. “They need to do their part and pass a long term extension of the renewable energy incentives just as they have done for decades with non-renewable industrial technologies.”

A recent study by the American Solar Energy Society shows that, with appropriate public policy, up to 40 million jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency could be created by 2030. If Congress fails to extend the tax credits for renewable energy, construction of new solar plants, wind farms and geothermal power plants will be put at risk – along with the countless numbers of green collar jobs they generate.

“With support in Congress and the White House we can gain an extension of the renewable energy tax credits before these technologies and these jobs are sent to other parts of the world,” Collins said. “I remember four years ago encouraging the Department of Energy to continue supporting this technology.  They changed their minds and did not zero it out but kept a modest amount of research support for CSP.  It has been an uphill battle” 

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