WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama's Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 budget, released today, provides for an extension of the Section 1603 Treasury Program. Extension of this worthwhile program will allow taxpayers to reap the significant economic and energy policy benefits associated with the expanded deployment and use of solar energy. "America's solar industry appreciates President Obama's support for extending the 1603 Treasury Program," said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "The 1603 program has helped leverage over $24 billion in private sector investment in for a wide range of clean energy projects, and extending the 1603 program will create an additional 37,000 jobs in the American solar industry in this year alone." The 2008 economic crisis and the economy's subsequent downturn drastically reduced the availability of tax equity, severely limiting the financing available for renewable energy projects. The Section 1603 Treasury Program, which was enacted in 2009 and extended in 2010, allows taxpayers to receive a federal grant in lieu of taking an existing energy tax incentive they are otherwise able to claim. This change to the timing of when an energy incentive can be claimed provides the liquidity needed for the further development of domestic energy projects. As the tax equity markets have not yet recovered, there remains a compelling need for the 1603 program. Added Resch, "The lapse of the 1603 Program at the end of last year has had a detrimental impact. Small businesses and entrepreneurs who typically use this program and who would otherwise be hiring workers and starting new solar projects have been left in limbo. At a time when the nation's economy is on the verge of recovery, now is not the time to walk away from smart, proven policies like the 1603 Program that create jobs and support small business growth."
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA and its 1,100 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. www.seia.org.