Applied Materials president and CEO Mike Splinter met with President Obama and CEOs of several of America's largest companies – including IBM, Jet Blue and Honeywell – at the White House to discuss the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In the discussion, Splinter focused on key aspects of the clean technology agenda, including incentives for solar energy adoption as a way to create new jobs.
According to Applied Materials, Splinter specifically pointed to three actions related to solar energy that are now under consideration as part of the stimulus package:
- The provision of short-term refundability of the federal solar investment tax credit as well as new tax incentives to locate solar manufacturing facilities in the U.S., and encourage expansion of the renewable technology manufacturing base in this country;
- Requirement of adopting renewable and solar energy sources for federal properties, which would have an almost immediate impact because the federal government spends almost $6 billion annually on electricity. Splinter suggested that Congress should make $10 billion available immediately to the Federal Energy Management Program to invest in the construction and operation of solar installations in order to power federal buildings and lands. In addition, Splinter endorsed increasing the Energy Department's annual Solar Technologies Program R&D budget to $300 million and increasing overall R&D spending. This combined investment has the potential not only to lower electricity bills, but also to reduce carbon emissions, and put thousands of people to work, he said; and
- Enhancement of the innovative renewable technology loan guarantee program with the ultimate goal of creating a clean energy bank that would provide low- or no-cost financing for solar and other renewable projects and accelerate commercial deployment of renewable energy projects.
‘Most of the money that we're investing as part of this plan will get out the door immediately and go directly to job creation, generating or saving 3 to 4 million new jobs,’ Obama remarked after the meeting. ‘And the vast majority of these jobs will be created in the private sector, because, as these CEOs well know, business, not government, is the engine of growth in this country.
‘But even as this plan puts Americans back to work, it will also make the critical investments in alternative energy, in safer roads, better healthcare and modern schools that will lay the foundation for long-term growth and prosperity,’ he added.
SOURCES: Office Of The President, Applied Materials