Great news for solar shoppers! The 30% US Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar electric systems has been extended for the next four years through 2019, and then drops slightly to 26% in 2020, and then 22% 2021, finally capping out at 10% after that. What this means for solar buyers is that the price of a solar electric system is reduced by 30% on your tax bill, assuming that you have a tax liability to offset.
With this week's inaugural festivities, there's been a lot of buzz in the news about who was at what party. One of the most buzz-worthy parties was the Green Inaugural Ball whose guest of honor drew dreamy-eyed admirers by the hundreds. While Wyclef Jean was there, I'm not talking about him--I'm talking about Al Gore. Host Gore, and a couple of the most influential renewable energy figures in the country--Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, and Rhone Resch, president & CEO of SEIA--hung out and talked shop on the green carpet for a while. The party itself was full of chatter about climate change legislation, what the economic downturn means for solar, and all sorts of other really fun things that you talk about at parties.
Not just solar, of course. All branches of the renewables industry suffered another real frustration yesterday when the Senate, once again, failed to extend the renewable energy tax credit, thanks to a Republican filibuster. One wonders if they were reading the Yellow Pages to keep the filibuster going, or perhaps something more relevant, like, say, the quarterly reports of oil companies? Analysts are saying the fault is partly the Democrats', too, for failing to separate out "controversial" issues in the bill from the tax credit, although I'm not sure when funding for renewable energy under the Bush administration ceased to be controversial.