Some interesting developments in the solar market made headlines over the past week. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Washington, DC, announced its support for the extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) now being proposed by Senate Democrats to Senate majority and minority leaders and the chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO, said, “The ITC is a common-sense policy that helps every day Americans, whether it’s on a house, within a community, or on a tract of farm land. Until we have comprehensive legislation addressing climate change, the ITC is the strongest policy there is to incent clean energy development. We already know that the ITC has generated hundreds of thousands of jobs and injected more than $140 billion in private investment into the economy.
"The ITC has a record of bipartisan support, and circumstances since 2015, such as trade tariffs and a heightened awareness of climate change, only serve to bolster the case for extending the wildly successful policy. Fully, 81% of American voters believe solar is good for the economy and 73%, including 65% of Republican voters, believe solar can help address climate change. We strongly support an ITC extension and respectfully urge Congress to extend the credit.”
SEIA also applauded the Maine state legislature for recently passing three clean energy bills, including a renewable portfolio standard that requires the state to get 80% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
Said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s VP of state affairs, “For too long Maine has lagged behind on solar because of backward policies that singled out solar customers and tacked on unnecessary fees. Over the past few months, the Maine Legislature reversed these harmful policies and just this week set the industry up for success with aggressive new targets that are now signed into law. Solar will undoubtedly play a major role in meeting the state’s 80% renewable energy target by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
“Codifying these goals sends a strong signal that the nascent solar market in Maine is about to take off, bringing clean energy, jobs and new investments along with it. We commend the Maine Legislature and Governor Mills for getting back on track and jump-starting Maine’s solar future.”