Tell Congress to extend the ITC

In just a few weeks, the federal government may start phasing out its most successful environmental policy in recent memory: the solar investment tax credit.

That would be a terrible mistake. The tax credit has proven enormously effective, sparking a clean energy revolution that created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country—including thousands in our home state of New York. 

The ITC works

Legislators designed the credit to accelerate America’s adoption of solar energy, knowing that there would be myriad long-term benefits including job creation, reduced carbon emissions, lower energy costs, and even stronger national security.

That incentive supercharged the solar sector, resulting in 10,000 percent growth since the credit was introduced in 2006. And ‘solar installer’ was one of the fastest growing jobs in America in 2019.

Solar is just hitting its stride

But even in New York— one of the national leaders in solar installations—only 1.6 percent of our electricity comes from this renewable source. In other words, solar has plenty of room to grow.

And grow it must, if we are to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels and avoid the worst predicted effects of global warming. Scientists have been ringing the climate alarm bells for decades, but CEO’s, politicians of both parties, concerned civilians, and military and intelligence leaders are increasingly taking action to address the risks that come with a rapidly changing climate.

A critical moment

Ending the tax credit will slow the growth of solar and threaten the gains we’ve made in transitioning to a clean energy economy. Already, the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar panels have slowed the pace of installations.

U.S. lawmakers can prevent any slowdown by extending the credit. A 10-year extension could add 308 gigawatts to the nation’s solar capacity by 2030. It would keep about 360 million metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere—the equivalent of taking more than 76 million cars off the road.

An industry call to action

The House Ways & Means Committee just introduced a comprehensive clean energy tax proposal that includes a five-year extension of the ITC. This is a positive step, but there’s a long way to go before the ITC extension becomes law. Now is a critical time to contact our representatives in Congress to make the passage of an ITC extension a priority before the end of the year.