Has Solar always been a “left” issue? No! Three prominent GOP pollsters shows that 83 percent of Republicans support clean energy sources like solar.
Bryan Miller is senior vice president of public policy and power markets at Sunrun, in his recent article states, Solar’s popularity among the conservative base has helped it grow at the state level for years. Case in point: Last year, South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed historic legislation to open the market to competitive solar leasing, and this year, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie supported solar by extending net metering. Now we’re seeing this same conservative support bubble up to the federal level. Legislators will decide this year whether to give certainty to the solar industry by acting on the solar Investment Tax Credit. The ITC is a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems and the fundamental policy that’s helped bring close to 200,000 solar jobs to the U.S. over the past decade. Conservative lawmakers aren’t being shy about their support for this critically important policy.
Nevada Senator Dean Heller was quoted saying, “I’m disappointed that we can’t reach consensus on language that would truly give parity for an industry that is not only important for my home state of Nevada, but frankly, helps to diversify our nation’s energy portfolio.”
The ITC, solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the deployment of solar energy in the United States. SEIA successfully advocated for a multi-year extension of the credit in 2008, which provided business certainty to project developers and investors. The ITC continues to drive growth in the industry and job creation across the country.
Recognizing the signifance of the ITC, SEIA and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) have developed an analysis that explores the enormous impact of a five-year extension – and what happens if we let it expire. Extending the ITC amounts to an additional 69 gigawatts (GW) of solar deployment between 2016 and 2022.
Miller also said, ” it’s also about jobs. If the ITC isn’t extended, Nevada could go from the fastest-growing solar market in the country, with the most solar jobs per capita, to a state with thousands of unemployed workers. States all over the country will feel the effects.The Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows that failure to extend the ITC would result in 7,000 small businesses closing and up to 100,000 U.S. employees losing their jobs.”
Miller ended in saying, “Solar is popular and it comes with a myriad of benefits. Failure to include solar in legislation this year isn’t fair, and it could decimate the industry. Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike understand these arguments.”