Congress has reached a bipartisan deal that contains important emergency relief measures for the renewable energy industry, including a two-year extension of the investment tax credit (ITC) – critical to the solar power industry.
The full legislative package combines a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package and an omnibus spending bill for 2021 with tax extenders and energy policy changes. The decision comes after the solar industry spent several months advocating for these changes.
“With 13% of the clean energy workforce out of a job this holiday season due to COVID-19, we are grateful that lawmakers included emergency relief measures for the renewable sector in this package,” says Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). “Extending the solar tax incentives is a bipartisan vote of support for the renewable industry and the hundreds of thousands of Americans building our clean energy future. These policies will help get people back to work, accelerating our economic recovery and achieving greenhouse gas emissions reductions that scientists tell us are necessary to protect our climate.”
Under this legislation, the solar ITC will remain at 26% for projects that begin construction in 2021 and 2022, step down to 22% in 2023 and down to 10% in 2024 for commercial projects while the residential credit ends completely. Companies beginning construction on projects in 2021 would still have a four-year period to place their projects in service to take advantage of the ITC, with the statutory deadline for projects placed in service reset to before Jan. 1, 2026.
“We are heartened to see Congress step up to provide Americans with some relief after our country has been mired in a public health and economic disaster,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This pandemic has taken an immeasurable toll on American families, and our deepest sympathies are with those who have lost loved ones and those who are suffering economically because of the ongoing crisis. The provisions that help solar workers and businesses are a result of SEIA’s tireless advocacy throughout this difficult year, and I want to thank our champions in Congress for understanding the immense economic value the solar industry offers to communities across the country.”