Saturday, November 15, 2008

Congress passes the most powerful solar legislation in history

Solar provisions will extend the solar investment tax credit for eight years, removes the $2000 monetary cap

BOULDER – 10/6/08 – Homeowners battling against soaring energy prices and a struggling economy just gained a powerful new tool to help harness free, renewable energy from the sun, the wind and other sustainable resources.

The U.S. House and Senate just passed historic legislation that will massively increase the use of solar energy all across the America. Renewable energy provisions in H.R.1424 include an eight year extension of the 30% solar tax credit and removal of the monetary cap for residential solar electric installations. The President signed it into law on October 3.

The solar provisions in this bipartisan legislation will help position the U.S. as a global leader in the booming solar marketplace, generating thousands of green-collar jobs, promoting energy independence, and helping to tackle climate change.

"Renewable energy and energy efficiency are our economic drivers,” said Brad Collins, Executive Director of the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society. “I applaud members of Congress for coming together to extend the renewable energy tax credits that will strengthen the new energy economy and generate green jobs at a time when they’re needed most.”

Key provisions of this legislation will:
* Extend the investment tax credit for residential and commercial solar installations for eight years (it was previously set to expire at the end of 2008)
* End the $2000 cap on the investment tax credit for residential solar electric installations placed into service after December 31, 2008
* Allows filers of the alternative minimum tax to claim solar investment tax credits
* Allows public utilities to claim the solar investment tax credits
* Authorize $800 million in new clean renewable energy bonds and creates a new category of tax credit bonds called Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds to finance state and local initiatives to reduce carbon emissions
* Extends deductions for energy efficient commercial buildings
* Establishing a new tax credit for purchasers of plug-in electric-drive vehicles
* Extends research and development tax credits

For more than 50 years the American Solar Energy Society has been leading the renewable energy revolution. It is the nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies across the U.S. ASES leads national efforts to promote solar energy education, public outreach, and advocacy.

Source: American Solar Energy Society News Release

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