Stimulus Boosts Solar Industry

Back in October I wrote a post titled, Renewable Energy Sector Will Create New Jobs. It looks like my forecast will come true. In February, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. The Act will provide grants, tax credits, bonds, and loans guarantees to the renewable energy industry.
Brian Fan of the Cleantech Group said the stimulus will help keep existing renewable energy projects going. “The financing just wasn’t there in this climate, But now, existing projects in the pipeline…will be considered very favorably.”

President of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and CEO, Rhone Resch said, “The strong solar provisions in this legislation will help give hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans a job that they can be proud of. The solar energy provisions in this bill will help create 60,000 jobs in the solar industry in 2009 alone and a total of 110,000 over the next two years.”
Resch said the provisions in the stimulus for solar energy will help create 60,000 jobs and 110,000 jobs over the next two years.
Namaste Solar’s Director of External Affairs, Eriks Brolis said the stimulus will help solar companies which in turn will create jobs. “We are ready to put our economy back on track,” he said.
Grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy will especially help the solar industry. The stimulus contains a provision that someone who installs solar power can apply for a grant instead of a tax credit and will receive the money back in 60 days. The stimulus also contains $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy.
Solar energy is a good investment because once a system is installed the customer receives power when the sun is shining. “A solar power system generating electricity has a forecastable income stream over the next 30 years,” said Lyndon Rive, SEO of SolarCity.
The global demand for solar increased in 2008. Citigroup’s Timothy Arcuri said, “Global demand for solar is likely to see a slight decrease to 5 GW, but driven by a growing pipeline of utility scale projects and aided by government stimulus programs, he thinks the total will jump up to 7.6 GW next year and 9.6 GW in 2011.”
An article last month on Seeking Alpha listed three things that the solar industry has going for it:
1. Solar power should become competitive because it is becoming “more efficient and less costly.”
2. There are several forms through which solar power is being delivered, with more projects in the works.
3. Lack of sunlight, solar power’s biggest obstacle, is being overcome through the development of storage technology.

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by

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