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Home arrow Blog arrow 1/26/07 Legislation for "Securing America's Energy Independence Act" Extends Solar Tax Credit

1/26/07 Legislation for "Securing America's Energy Independence Act" Extends Solar Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Sarter   
Friday, 26 January 2007
McNulty, Camp Introduce "Securing America's Energy Independence Act" to Extend Solar Energy Tax Credits
Congressmen Michael McNulty (D-NY) and Dave Camp (R-MI) have introduced legislation to stimulate investment in solar power.

The Solar Energy Industries Association praised Reps. McNulty and Camp for sponsoring the "Securing America's Energy Independence Act." The bill would extend solar energy investment tax credits for homeowners and businesses through 2016. The credits are currently set to expire next year.

"The Securing America's Energy Independence Act represents a pro-growth path toward developing clean, domestic solar energy," said Rhone Resch, SEIA president. "American taxpayers want to invest in technologies that create jobs, reduce emissions, lower our energy bills and keep our energy dollars here in the United States. We commend Congressmen McNulty and Camp for proposing a bill that helps meet all of these goals with solar power."

"I am proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation with my colleague Rep. David Camp," McNulty said. "At a time when the high cost of energy continues to be a serious economic concern for most Americans, it is crucial that we continue to invest in these technologies which exhibit enormous potential for helping the United States achieve energy independence. This investment has the potential to create thousands of high-paying jobs, strengthen our nation's energy security, and help American consumers save money on their energy bills."

"I look forward to working with SEIA and my colleagues in the House of Representatives in approving the Securing America's Energy Independence Act," said Congressman Camp. "This bill will help further the goal of reducing America's dependence on fossil fuels and promoting greater consumer demand for affordable, clean, renewable energy. I am committed to policies that help the solar industry gain a greater foothold in the United States. I believe the Securing America's Energy Independence Act will help achieve this result."

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems purchased for both residential and business applications. However, these credits will expire after two years without legislative remedy, a term too short to encourage significant industry growth. A long-term extension is essential to reducing the cost of solar energy, as it would create market conditions that allow solar companies to make investments and drive down costs through economies of scale, according to SEIA. A longer duration will also be needed to help stimulate the development of large-scale concentrating solar power projects.

SEIA estimated that a long-term credit extension would create approximately 55,000 solar industry jobs by 2016 and encourage states to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy infrastructure. Solar energy would displace four trillion cubic feet of natural gas under the bill, saving American consumers $32 billion over equipment lifetimes.

"The United States has the best solar resources in the industrialized world, and we should be a world leader in developing technologies that put these resources to work for all Americans," said SEIA's Resch. "This bill strengthens America's economic future as well as our energy security. It will stimulate economic investment and create high-quality renewable industry jobs in every state across the U.S."

The Securing America's Energy Independence Act includes the following provisions, to take effect for all equipment installed retroactive to January 1, 2007, and going forward:

Residential Solar Tax Credit: Extends a 30 percent tax credit, created in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for the purchase of residential solar water heating, photovoltaic (PV) equipment, and fuel cell property. Changes the maximum credit to $1,500 for each half-kilowatt of capacity for solar PV equipment and $1,000 for each kilowatt of capacity for fuel cells. Credits may be taken against the alternative minimum tax. Expires after December 31, 2016.

Business Solar Tax Credit and Fuel Cell Tax Credit: Extends a 30 percent business credit, established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for the purchase of fuel cell power plants, solar energy property and fiber-optic property used to illuminate the inside of a structure. Changes the maximum credit to $1,500 for each half-kilowatt of capacity for solar PV equipment. Credits may be taken against the alternative minimum tax. Expires after December 31, 2016.

Accelerated Depreciation: Creates a three-year accelerated depreciation period for all solar equipment eligible for the business solar tax credit.


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