Renewable energy coalition urges Congress for one-year extension on 1603 program

Over 750 companies, small businesses and organizations are sending a letter to Congress asking for a one-year extension of the Department of Treasury’s Section 1603 Program. Solarbuzz advised that the coalition represents hundreds of thousands of jobs in the 50 states across various energy technology industries.

Originally, the 1603 program was created to tackle the scarcity of available tax equity from the 2008 financial crisis. Solarbuzz noted that while the tax equity market somewhat improved in 2010, it has still not reached a full recovery – even with clean energy projects growing in the last few years.

Furthermore, a survey of the most influential tax equity investors, conducted by the US Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance in July, found that letting the program expire would shrink the total financing available for energy projects by 52% in 2012.

“The 1603 program was the single biggest driver of renewable energy deployment over the last two years, leveraging nearly US$23 billion of private sector funding,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Allowing it to expire at the end of the year, while tax equity markets remain limited, would have a severe impact on the few industries actually creating new American jobs in this economy.”

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