EcoGeek is a technology blog...the folks at EnviroWonk do the hard work covering politics. But sometimes, the politics are just too important to ignore.
Today the Senate approved an amendment to the U.S. Housing Bill that will, if passed in the House and signed by President Bush, will extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for another eight years. Very simply, the ITC gives companies buying solar panels a 30% tax break on the money they spend on panels.
The recent energy bill, passed several months ago, initially included the ITC, but Bush threatened to veto any legislation that reduced subsidies for big oil, so it was removed. The more recent bill is unclear about where the money will come from, leading to concerns that it will be vetoed in the House, as it would be adding to the deficit. If it makes it to the president, however, the bill is likely to be signed this time because he can't make the "But it will increase gas prices" claim.
The solar industry continues to fret about the current ITC's scheduled lapse. Many solar energy projects that have begun will not be financially viable without the ITC, and many others are waiting to see if the ITC is passed before being begun. All together, the ITC would cost about $0.50 per year for the next eight years. It would also likely tip the solar industry into profitability, and create a massive rush to invest in solar projects. It really pisses me off that this has taken so long to pass. Already the solar industry is suffering, and we can't even pay for it with Exxon's subsidies. Obviously, they need the help, since they only made $11 billion last quarter.
written by Drew, April 11, 2008
written by Cyrus, April 11, 2008
written by Kevin, April 11, 2008
written by Cyrus, April 12, 2008
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