The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) outlined this week the key policies that President-elect Obama and the Congressional leadership must address to expand the use of solar energy and help put over 1 million Americans back to work by 2011.
SEIA released "Solar Energy: A Blueprint for Job Creation and Economic Security," which recommends that the new Administration and Congress embrace the following policies and programs to expand the creation of clean energy jobs in the United States: Improve solar tax credits; Increase government procurement of solar power; Create tax incentives for manufacturing; Pass a national renewable portfolio standard with a solar provision; Expand and update transmission infrastructure; Improve access to federal lands to harness our vast solar resources; Create a federal Clean Energy Bank; Create the office of Renewable Energy Development; Establish national standards for interconnection and net metering; Increase DOE Solar Appropriations and Enact climate legislation to reduce carbon emissions, stimulate solar generation.
SEIA President Rhone Resch said, "President-elect Obama and the new Congress have expressed their commitment to addressing our current economic crisis. Increasing the use of solar energy will create millions of new jobs and put billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, providing a clean, reliable and domestic source of energy while providing a clean, reliable and domestic source of energy,.
"The growth of solar energy will not happen quickly enough without the right federal policies to stimulate the market and remove fundamental barriers that prevent solar from competing in the electricity marketplace.
"To stimulate this growth, the Solar Energy Industries Association is recommending to the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress a number of immediate and near-term policies to stimulate the growth of solar energy, including: improving the solar investment tax credits to ensure that they can be utilized as Congress originally intended, creating a government procurement program that deploys solar on federal buildings and lands, and establishing a national renewable portfolio standard that requires a specific amount of energy come from solar.
"We look forward to working with the new Administration and the 111th Congress to achieve these important goals for growing our economy, improving our energy independence and reducing global warming."
SEIA Board Chairman Roger Efird of Suntech America said, "For solar energy to reach its potential as an economic engine and become an important part of our national energy portfolio, we need government leaders to continue to enact the right policies. These policies, especially in the current economic crisis, will allow companies like mine to grow and create green jobs that will reverse the trend of sending American jobs overseas. Instead, the U.S. can become a destination for international companies to find the skilled professionals they need to compete in the global renewable energy economy."
SEIA's will deliver the "Solar Energy: A Blueprint for Job Creation and Economic Security" to each member of President-elect Obama's energy and economic transition teams and Congressional leadership.
SEIA is comprised of over 800 member companies that manufacture, distribute, sell, design, own, install and finance solar power plants and systems.