A new solar tax bill in the Iowa legislature was approved by the Ways and Means Committee that would triple the annual solar tax credit from $1.5 million to $4.5 million.
The proposed legislation would increase the homeowner solar tax credit from $3,000 to $5,000. Business owners would be eligible for $20,000 instead of the current $15,000.
Demand for the increase reportedly has been strong, at least according to the Iowa Environmental Council. They said demand was almost 50% greater than the annual cap amount for last year. The first solar tax credit was passed in 2012 and a revision was proposed last year, but it only passed the Senate, not the House.
The current solar tax credit has helped facilitate about $24 million in solar energy investment in Iowa.
Their solar power tax credit policy hasn’t received the best review from the Solar Power Rocks, “Performance payments? Sorta … only for a few of the state’s residents. How about up-front rebates? Same deal. In fact, nearly all of Iowa’s solar policy is a little bit stop-and-go. But there is a lot to build on!”
According to the Iowa Dept. of Revenue, already $685,000 has been awarded for solar tax credits in the year 2014.
The Iowa Environmental Council believes Iowa could generate about 5 percent of its electricity from solar power. Currently the state generates about 25 percent from wind power, and is a leader in the United States in the type of renewable energy. Coal-fired power plants generate most of its electricity – about 65 percent.
Iowa is also the largest producer of ethanol in the nation.