A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. introduced legislation on Thursday that would extend the solar Investment Tax Credit for five years at its full 30 percent value.
An extension has become the top priority for the U.S. solar industry, even if it faces an tough climb ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
A prolongation of the ITC would fan the flames of investment in the solar market, forecast by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables to grow 25 percent this year to 13 gigawatts, driven by booming utility-scale installations. That would be the second-biggest year on record.
But an extension would also scramble strategic plans within an industry that has been busy preparing for its main subsidy to start declining at the end of this year for all new projects, as part of a bipartisan deal agreed in 2015.
Many in the energy industry expected the 2015 extension of the federal wind and solar tax credits to be the final one, granting those markets an unprecedented period of policy certainty to drive down their costs and reach a place where such subsidies were no longer necessary. [click for full article]