SEIA Launches New Campaign to Extend Solar Investment Tax Credit

The 30 percent solar investment tax credit (ITC) is set to be reduced to 10 percent for business and zero for residential in 2016, so the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has launched a new campaign for a long-term extension. SEIA President Rhone Resch explained the importance of such an extension in Solar Central at Solar Power International 2014, and called for industry support.

SEIA President Rhone Resch discusses the importance of extending the solar ITC at Solar Central.

“We need to step up in a more meaningful way,” said Resch. “Policy is important and we can’t just stay on the sidelines and expect it to happen.”

Solar has exploded since the ITC went into effect in 2006, going from an $800 million industry to a $15 bilion industry in that timeframe. SEIA expects the industry to install 20 GW of solar in the next two years, which means more capacity will be installed each week than in the entire year of 2006. “Tell me that’s not worth fighting for,” said Resch. 

Resch said that SEIA is pushing for a long-term, multi-year extension that coincides with other energy policies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act, which stretches out to 2020.

In order to achieve this, SEIA is calling for both the industry and public to get involved immediately. Companies both large and small need to join the initiative, said Resch, “the big solar players get it, but the vast majority of the industry doesn’t want to get involved. We need to change that.”

SEIA will also create an online pro-ITC public ballot to present to congress, and hopes to gather 1 million signatures by the extension deadline. The ballot will be live on the SEIA website in the coming weeks. 

The entire campaign will be in full motion by 2015 when a new congress is sworn in. 

Said Resch: “We are a big and growing industry, but we need to make sure we also have a big and growing voice.”

To read Resch’s SPI 2014 keynote speech, click here

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Former editor of I hold a MA in Professional Writing and BA in English from the University of Massachusetts and a certificate in Professional Communications: Writing from Emerson College.

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