The Solar Power World September 2022 Digital Edition is sponsored by CPS North America | Chint Power Global
Solar industry wins hard-fought battle with IRA passage
Following solar policy is like scheduling a flight right now — with the shortage of airline workers, extreme weather and other factors, you don’t want to get your hopes up that you’ll arrive on time, and if you actually do, you’re ecstatic. The odds are high that there will be cancelations and rescheduling along the way.
Such was the case with the solar priorities that SEIA and other industry advocates have been aiming for ever since President Joe Biden took office in 2021. Solar incentives began popping up in new legislation and federal policy platforms, starting with a standalone storage tax credit and 10-year ITC extension in March 2021, followed by a solar production tax credit in September 2021. Then in the Fall, to the industry’s delight, the Build Back Better Act was introduced, containing most of those priorities and solar manufacturing tax credits.
That didn’t end well. But even after Sen. Joe Manchin made it clear he wouldn’t support the bill in December 2021, the solar industry remained positive about getting these priorities to the White House. SEIA’s president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said after the Manchin statement that the organization still believed strongly that members of Congress would continue to press ahead.
And press they did — both the solar industry and members of Congress kept working behind the scenes to include solar legislation in budget reconciliation. After yet another hiccup in July 2022, with Manchin again saying he couldn’t support reconciliation legislation in its current form, he and Sen. Chuck Schumer shocked the country by announcing a surprise deal two weeks later that included almost every single solar policy request from the industry.
Now, these federal solar incentives are law. They include a 10-year ITC extension, standalone storage ITC, domestic manufacturing incentives and many more provisions that are expected to transform the industry. Solar installers and developers will greatly benefit from long-term certainty and a path to more American-made, non-tariffed solar products; and American homeowners, nonprofit organizations, tribes and more will benefit from tax credits that make going solar more affordable for more people. Read my story on everything the law does for the solar + storage industry on page 26, and follow Solar Power World over the coming months as we dive even deeper into each element that will impact your solar business.
Although it was unpleasant to spend hours researching the fi ne print of bills only to see them languish over the past year and a half, it’s all the more gratifying when the legislation finally reaches the president’s desk. In the end, it was well worth it to book that flight.