The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has announced that dozens of associations representing a broad array of interests are calling for an extension of the Section 48 and Section 25D investment tax credit (ITC).
More than 70 organizations – representing farmers, home builders, environmental groups, electric cooperatives and a variety of other industries – sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act.
“It’s not every day that you see higher ed advocates and farm families agree on energy policy,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “Extending the investment tax credit is common sense, and this effort shows us just how many people, communities and interests it touches. Whether you want to reduce emissions, stimulate economic investment or create jobs, we’re showing Congress that the ITC is a proven policy that can do all of those things.”
The organizations listed in the letter represent citizens, consumers and businesses in all 50 states, notes SEIA.
“As farmers and ranchers face uncertain markets and declining farm income, renewable energy provides a reliable source of income and reduces on-farm energy costs,” says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “The farm bureau supports the section 48 and 25D investment tax credit because it helps to create a diverse and domestic energy supply, strengthen our energy security, and bolster rural economies. Congress needs to enact a predictable, stable and long-term tax credit solution so that rural businesses and investors have the certainty they need to continue developing solar, distributed wind and other renewable energy projects.”
“This credit provides continued support for the innovation and technology we’ll need to drive down harmful carbon emissions and create a cleaner energy grid,” adds Renee Stone, vice president of climate at the National Audubon Society. “Investing in clean energy, which is now more affordable than ever, is critical to meeting the challenges of a changing climate at a speed that will protect both people and wildlife.”
This support comes as SEIA leads clean energy organizations in a push to pass the Renewable Energy Extension Act, which would extend both sections of the tax code under the ITC for another five years.
The ITC is the umbrella term for the Section 25D and 48 tax credit that covers renewable energy technologies like solar energy, geothermal, fuel cells and distributed wind energy at the residential and commercial levels. Since it was passed in 2005 by a Republican-led Congress, the ITC has driven innovation and investments in renewable energy, says SEIA. Without an extension, the ITC will begin stepping down at the end of 2019 before it drops to 10% for commercial and utility-scale customers and faces permanent elimination for residential customers in 2022.