USA President Obama today signed the USD $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 into law. The US solar energy industry has rejoiced over the package as USD $43 billion will be spent in the energy sector; with a sizeable chunk dedicated to solar power.
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President & CEO Rhone Resch stated 67,000 solar power related jobs in 2009 are expected to be created and a total of 119,000 jobs over the next two years as a result of the package, putting Americans back to work installing solar panels, manufacturing components and constructing solar farms.
Three aspects of the stimulus package critical to the industry included grants equal to 30 percent of the cost of qualifying large and small solar projects started in the next two years, a loan guarantee program to get much needed funding moving for renewable energy projects and a manufacturing tax credit whereby a 30-percent credit for equipment to manufacture renewable energy components will be available.
The solar power push in the USA will provide benefits to other countries as well through increased research and development that can lead to more efficient solar panels, deep cycle batteries and other renewable energy components.
US consumers won’t miss out either as home owners will be able to write off 30% of the cost of a solar power system on their federal tax bill. While this has been the case for some time, under the new laws there won’t be any cap on system size.
The wind energy industry will also continue to be strongly supported with $13 billion in the form of a three-year extension of the tax break for big wind projects.
President Obama’s goal is to double the production alternative energy in the next three years and to ensure 10 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012 extending to 25 percent by 2025.