U.S. House recesses, fails to pass tax bill, leaving solar, R&D credits in doubt

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

The U.S. House of Representatives recessed Monday with no deal on a major tax relief package, which includes provisions to extend the solar investment tax credits and renew the R&D tax credit, according to Associated Press.

The report says that the “House had intended to adjourn for the year on Monday, but that plan abruptly changed when lawmakers rejected the $700 billion financial bailout legislation, forcing congressional and administrative leaders to regroup and opening up the possibility that the House would return later this week or in the coming weeks to vote on a revised bailout proposal—and perhaps give them another shot at the tax bill.”

Although the Senate and House had passed the tax relief bill (which also includes provisions dealing with the alternative minimum tax, or AMT), the two chambers have not been able to reconcile their versions and reach a consensus.  

The AP report notes that lawmakers on both sides of the Capitol “stressed that the tax relief bill would create tens of thousands of jobs and contribute to the nation’s energy independence. House Democrats “insisted that more of the package, totaling $138 billion in House bills, be paid for so as not to increase the deficit. Senate Republicans, averse to new taxes, said any changes in the Senate-passed tax bill would kill the entire package.”

The Senate still plans to meet later in the week before leaving for the year, according to AP, and could conceivably try to take up the House-passed AMT fix separately.

Maggie Hershey, public policy director for SEMI, told PV-Tech via email that “my understanding is that the House is likely to adjourn quite soon without taking up the extenders bill. The situation is still quite fluid, though. [It’s] not yet certain whether there will be a lame-duck session. Given the current economic crisis, there is a good chance that they could have to come back to Washington at some point.

“SEMI is disappointed that Congress was not able to reach agreement to extend the R&D tax credit and the solar investment tax credit,” she said. “There is a great deal of bipartisan support for both of these measures.  The attention needed for the negotiations and debate on the bailout package cut into the little time left, and the House and Senate did not have enough time to resolve the remaining differences.  We hope that Congress will return in November to extend the R&D tax credit and the solar investment tax credit.

“Failure to extend these credits could have a negative impact on investment on solar and R&D in the United States, especially during this time of heightened competitiveness and growing alternative energy demand. It is not a question of whether there will be solar investment, but whether the investment will be in the United States. The United States could lose out on great opportunities if Congress does not act.

Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, echoed some of Hershey’s comments in a statement released Monday afternoon.

“We are extremely disappointed that Congress has failed to reach agreement on an extension of solar energy tax credits that are central to jumpstarting our troubled economy and putting Americans back to work. The failure by members of both parties to secure extensions of the solar tax credits ensures that the U.S. will remain in an energy crisis characterized by overdependence on foreign energy.

“While Congress prepares its hasty departure from Washington, important work remains to be completed prior to the end of the year,” he continues. “We call on both the House and Senate to return later this week to finish the tax extenders package that is vital to businesses and individuals in every corner of the country.  While it was imperative to break for a short holiday recess, there is no excuse for Congress not to complete action on these crucial tax credits to our economy by week’s end.

“The economic impact of Congress’ failure to pass the solar energy tax extenders is already being felt. Unless Congress promptly returns to complete their unfinished business, the solar industry will suffer with the loss of 39,000 jobs and $8 billion of economic investment in 2009 alone,” Resch concluded.

 Latest Developments as of 2/10/08.

— Tom Cheyney

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
July 30, 2021
Not only will solar be the dominant source of new power generation in Europe by 2025, cementing its position as the third largest market for solar globally, but the continent has placed the asset class at the very heart of its COVID-19 recovery strategy. As part of a week-long special report on PV Tech Premium, Liam Stoker, Edith Hancock and Jules Scully explore the drivers for solar in Europe, the key markets and the challenges that remain.
July 30, 2021
First Solar has unveiled plans to construct a 3.3GWdc module assembly facility in India, bolstering its manufacturing footprint outside of the US.
July 30, 2021
Anglo-Australian mining company BHP, in partnership with Canada’s TransAlta Renewables, is to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power its Mt Keith and Leinster nickel mines in Western Australia
July 30, 2021
German energy giant RWE has upgraded its earnings forecast for 2021 after “exceptionally positive” earnings trend
July 29, 2021
Tracker and racking provider Arctech has delivered SkySmart II tracking system to a 575MW agriculture-sharing solar project located in Nangong City, Hebei Province, China.
July 29, 2021
Unigreen Energy, owned by Hevel majority shareholder Ream Management LLC, has broken ground on a wafer and cell manufacturing plant that will produce 1.3GW of silicon n-type monocrystalline ingots and wafers as well as 1GW of heterojunction technology (HJT) solar cells.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021