The Coalition for Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation is calling on political leaders to prioritize clean energy in upcoming infrastructure legislation.
More than 100 organizations representing clean energy interests, manufacturers, homebuilders, electric cooperatives and a variety of other industries sent a letter to President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Chuck Schumer, urging them to enact a 10-year extension of the section 25D and 48 Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and a direct pay option for projects claiming the ITC.
“Solar and storage are proven job creators that can modernize America’s power grid and tackle the climate crisis,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “These are economywide benefits that extend far beyond just one industry, and that’s why a diverse coalition of leaders representing multiple sectors, technologies and communities are asking Congress for long-term policy certainty for clean energy infrastructure. The solar and storage industry stands ready to put Americans back to work, but Congress must act now to unleash the clean energy economy.”
The coalition believes a 10-year extension of the ITC would give businesses the certainty needed to make long-term investments and drive clean energy deployment at the scale needed to tackle climate change. In addition, a direct pay provision would make project financing less dependent on the availability of tax equity, speeding deployment and pandemic-driven economic challenges affecting clean energy companies, the coalition stated in a press release.
“The long-term extension of the ITC will help ensure America continues to be the leader in technology innovation by helping scale up clean energy industries like the fuel cell and hydrogen sector, fuel economic growth, and protect the environment,” said Morry Markowitz, president of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association.
To reach 100% clean electricity by 2035, annual solar deployment from 2024 to 2028 will need to be twice as large as the current forecast. The solar ITC was responsible for a 10,000% increase in the size of the solar industry from 2006 to 2019 and continues to be one of the most influential solar policies. Wood Mackenzie found that the recent two-year extension of the ITC increased solar installation forecasts by 17%.
Passing long-term clean energy policies will drive deployment and help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Over 400,000 Americans work in the industries supported by the ITC. According to the National Solar Jobs Census 2020, the solar industry will need to grow to more than 900,000 workers by 2035 to support the level of deployment needed to reach President Biden’s 100% clean electricity target.
The ITC is the umbrella term for Section 25D and 48 tax credits that cover clean energy sources such as solar, geothermal, fuel cells, combined heat and power, and distributed wind. Since it was passed in 2005 by a Republican-led Congress, the ITC has driven innovation and investments in clean energy. Combined, the section 48 and 25D industries add billions of dollars in investment to our economy annually, lowering electricity costs and significantly cutting carbon emissions.
News item from SEIA