Clean Power

Published on May 24th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan


Tax Breaks for Solar Companies Could Create 200,000 US Jobs

May 24th, 2010 by  


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

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • What a good blogpost man. Nice share. But I am having difficulty with your feeds. I fail to subscribe. Is there any one else experiencing similar issue with your RSS?

    • @Johnathan Kuehneman: hmm, feed should be working fine. let me know if you don’t get it to work…

  • I agree. The job creation potential here is enormous.

  • Sven

    Heck, it could create 200 million jobs!

  • Great article! Thanks! I only wish that CleanTechnica could get SEIA to “show their work,” as we used to say in elementary school arithmetic 🙂 There is nothing here on the data and calculations SEIA used to estimate:

    – New investments attracted;

    – New jobs created;

    – Net benefit to the federal budget.

    Job creation claims have become the Proof Point of Last Resort. Everybody–Democrats, Republicans, economists, environmentalists, and every leader of every potentially disruptive clean tech company–claims that whatever they’re selling will create X (or XX, or XXX, or X,XXX) thousand jobs. It would be great to see even a little bit of backup. Thx again for the article.

  • Climate change is a global problem, and yet each one of us has the power to make a difference. Even small changes in our daily behaviour can help prevent greenhouse gas emissions without affecting our quality of life. In fact, they can help save us money!

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