Solar Line Manufacturer Calls for Federal Support

With comprehensive energy legislation shaping up in Congress, GT Equipment Technologies, one of the nation’s most prominent solar energy companies, wrote to four members of the United States Senate urging them to support a renewable energy tax credit of 10 to 15 percent for residential solar (photovoltaic) in the legislation pending before Congress.

Letters were signed by GT Equipment Technologies CEO Kedar Gupta and COO Tom Zarrella and sent to the Senator Pete V. Domenici (R-New Mexico), who is the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. New Hampshire Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu also received letters from the company. Based in New Hampshire, GT Equipment Technologies is a worldwide company that designs, manufactures and installs turn-key fabrication lines for all three stages of the photovoltaic manufacturing chain. Gupta and Zarella press the point that “if the use of photovoltaic energy in the United States is to become a viable alternative energy, one of several key advances we must make as a country is to provide incentives to homeowners to make it attractive for them and for the developers that build housing to consider the installation of solar energy modules.” The letter goes on to say that “it will take major initiatives by both the private sector and by the federal government to create those incentives, and thus an alternative energy culture that can help the United States become energy self-sufficient going forward.” “We believe that the solar energy industry has matured and improved to the point where photovoltaic modules are very efficient, and the cost is within the reach of consumers,” said Gupta and Zarrella. “If the government also provided the suggested tax credit, there would be a surge of residential solar installations in the United States.” One risk that confronts the United States in not moving expeditiously toward renewable energies such as solar is the loss of the underlying technologies to other countries that are aggressively using renewable energy sources as a significant part of their energy mix, said the company. “If the United States is going to be a world leader in the production and use of renewable energies, some initial steps must be taken now in order to create the atmosphere for the development and use of those energies here at home, which in turn will help to retain our share of next-generation technologies for renewable energy in the U.S.,” the company said. GT Equipment Technologies believes that solar energy can be a viable part of the energy mix, but only if the private and public sectors make a commitment to move forward. A residential solar tax credit would be one of those steps.

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