Coalition calls on US Congress to expand green energy incentives as COVID-19 sets in

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Source: Flickr, Matt Wade

Clean energy trade bodies and groups in the US have called on lawmakers to extend and improve tax incentives to help the renewable and clean grid industries surmount the COVID-19 pandemic.

The groups – which include the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) – wrote in an open letter on Thursday that supply chain disruptions and a drop in available tax equity will undermine renewable project finance, construction deadlines, as well as developers’ ability to meet tax credit deadlines and then monetise those incentives.

The coalition asked specifically for an extension of start construction and safe harbour deadlines, for provisions allowing renewable tax credits to be available for direct pay, and enactment of a direct pay tax credit for stand-alone energy storage.

“Like all sectors of our economy, the renewable and clean grid industry – including developers, manufacturers, construction workers, electric utilities, investors and major corporate consumers of renewable power – needs stability,” the letter to house and senate leaders notes. “The current uncertainty about the ability to qualify for and monetise tax incentives will have real and substantial negative impacts to the entire economy.”

For its part, the SEIA is currently carrying out industry surveys to better understand the impacts of COVID-19.

SEIA President and chief executive Abigail Ross Hopper wrote in an open letter on 12 March that the pandemic was “taking a toll on the industry”.

“We are getting reports from our members about supply chain disruptions, project delays, sales challenges and more. It is clear that companies will feel the effects of these market disruptions,” she wrote.

The prospects and challenges of solar's new era in the US will take centre stage at Large Scale Solar USA 2020 (Austin, Texas, on 23-24 June 2020)

Read PV Tech’s live compilation of how the pandemic is disrupting PV supply chains here.

Participate in the SEIA’s COVID-19 impacts survey here.

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