A new report just released by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) shows that extending the Treasury Grant Program (TGP) by two years, combined with new tax breaks for equipment manufacturers, would increase investement in the solar industry by $48 billion, creating 207,000 additional jobs by 2016.
The TGP is part of the US stimulus package of early 2009. It gives solar project owners a cash grant in lieu of a tax credit.The program is set to expire in December if not extended.
The new report by SEIA finds that if the TGP is extended to include projects that begin construction before the end of 2012, it will increase investment in solar projects by $21 billion and create 67,000 solar jobs.
Additionally, if solar equipment producers become eligible for a new manufacturing investment tax credit (MITC), another $22 billion in investment could be generated and 158,000 additional jobs could be created by 2016.
The MITC is in line with the original goals of the federal stimulus package and would help to turn those goals into reality. “The tax credits for renewable equipment manufacturers were originally launched alongside the TGP scheme, but, to date, solar equipment firms have not been covered by the credits,” Danny Bradbury of Business Green reports.
In total, $48 billion more would be invested in the solar industry and 207,000 new jobs would be created if these actions are taken, according to SEIA.
Additionally, this would create a net benefit for the federal budget.
“When comparing 2010 and 2016 in terms of government stimulus, increased employment and the unemployment alternative, we find that in five years the saved unemployment benefits and additional tax revenue are higher than the government stimulus for all three scenarios,” the report concludes.
Hopefully, legislators will stick to their goal of encouraging solar power, stimilating the economy and creating jobs. For your part, give your representatives in Congress a call and encourage them to keep supporting solar jobs and the economy.
Image Credit: bkusler via flickr/CC license
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.