The USA renewable energy industry is rejoicing this evening after the US Senate approved the extension of tax credits which will stimulate investment in renewables technology in the USA.
Increased from $17 billion to $18 billion, the new legislation extends covers through to 2016. Renewable energy investments had suffered greatly this year as this section of the bill had failed eight times in the Senate and also faced opposition in the House.
Solar Energy Industries Association president Rhone Resch stated the new legislation would see the local solar industry grow exponentially in the coming years. As a result of the extension, companies including Suntech Holdings, manufacturers of solar panels, will create 1.2 million employment opportunities, including 440,000 permanent jobs, and $232 billion in investment by 2016.
The goal is now that the House swiftly pass the Senate legislation before members leave next week in order to get the bill to President Bush for signing.
The news has positive consequences not just for the USA, but for other countries as well. Through increased investment, solar power technology will rapidly move forward towards the holy grail of price parity with coal-fired electricity generation, making solar power more affordable for all.
It’s somewhat ironic who will be footing the bill for the extension – according to Reuters; it will be the oil industry. The costs will therefore invariably be passed on to consumers at the pump, but this will create further pressure on automakers to improve the fuel economy of vehicles and also make alternative energy vehicles more attractive.