Hundreds of mayors urge Congress to extend solar ITC

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
The US Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Source: aviation_traveler1011, Pixabay

More than 200 mayors across the US have sent a letter urging Congress to pass a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) with a particular focus on creating jobs and drawing investment.

The bipartisan group of 231 mayors from 39 states and representing cities both large and small want Congress to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act (HR 3961/S. 2289), which would result in the ITC extension. More than 60 mayors that signed onto the letter are also working in districts that have a Republican member of Congress.

The letter opened with this statement: “Mayors across the country increasingly support renewable energy. The communities we serve, including residents and local businesses, have seen the rewards of investing in technology like solar. Year after year, we have seen the number of solar installations grow in our towns and cities. Adoption of renewable energy has accelerated as a result of policies such as the Investment Tax Credit, which has made it possible for more people, in more places, to choose solar energy and lower electricity bills.”

According to an SEI release, mayors have increasingly had to deal with extreme weather from major hurricanes, wildfires and droughts to polar vortices, hence the impetus on resilience through renewable energy, but they are also spurred on by the impacts that solar supported by the ITC can have on communities. For example, analysis from SEIA and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables has found that the ITC extension could create an additional 113,000 jobs and US$87 billion in economic investment by 2030.

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said: “Mayors are increasingly turning to solar energy to fight the effects of climate change and generate millions of dollars of private investment in their cities. We’re thrilled to have their support as we fight to preserve one of the most successful clean energy policies in U.S. history.”

Solar in many states is now competitive without the ITC, which is scheduled to start stepping down at the end of 2019. However, removing the ITC could destroy the business case for many projects already in the pipeline. Moreover, the ITC has largely been deemed a major success so far and is said to have driven US$140 billion in private sector investment, according to SEIA.

Separately, the energy storage industry is lobbying for a standalone ITC. At present, the ITC only applies to energy storage if it is installed simultaneously with a PV system. The Energy Storage Association is also calling for support via Twitter using #StorageITC.

WoodMac and SEIA recently found that the US now has a record-breaking 37.9GW of utility-scale solar in the works after 11.2GW of new projects were announced in H1 2019.

Mayor comments

Mayor Kriseman, St. Petersburg, Florida:

“The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to support the growth of solar and other renewable energy sources in the United States. The federal ITC has been a critical innovation policy creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, lowering electricity prices for families and businesses, reducing carbon emissions, and maintaining America’s competitive edge in emerging energy technologies. With the ITC set to begin ramping down in 2020, now is the time to continue this important policy.” 

Mayor Turner, Houston, Texas

“As the nation’s largest municipal user of renewable energy, Houston understands that sustainability and resiliency go hand in hand. Continuing to support the growth of renewable energy will help the U.S. lead the energy transition, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build smarter, more resilient communities.”

Mayor Schember, Erie, Pennsylvania

“Improving our use of Solar Energy is essential to us maintaining a sustainable and stable, healthy environment for future generations.”

 Mayor Vruwink, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconcin

“Promoting solar-friendly initiatives and supporting the tax credit extension means more jobs for our renewable energy technical college graduates and a stronger local economy. We all have a responsibility to secure a future fueled by more renewable energy for a healthier, cleaner planet.”

Read Next

April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
March 31, 2021
US President Joe Biden has included a ten-year extension for the Investment Tax credit for both clean power generation and energy storage as part of a US$2 trillion infrastructure investment plan.
March 25, 2021
Thin-film laser systems equipment supplier LPKF Laser & Electronics suffered from delays in receiving new expected orders from two long-stand customers last year.
March 23, 2021
Lightsource bp has been selected to build, own and operate seven solar arrays in Pennsylvania that will provide nearly half of the state government’s electricity.
March 16, 2021
US solar smashes quarterly deployment record as 8GWdc installed in Q4 2020.
March 4, 2021
A round-up of the latest solar project news from around the world, including updates from Hanwha Q CELLS and Capital Dynamics.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
May 26, 2021
Session 1 - 7:00 AM (BST) | Session 2 - 5:00 PM (BST)
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021