ITC Talking Points – Post 2016
1. The ITC is a successful policy that should be made permanent.
a. The ITC has been unbelievably successful in its role as an economic engine – the U.S. solar industry is more than 20 times bigger now than when the ITC was enacted. The industry now supports 143,000 American jobs and is valued at more than $13.7 billion.
b. Research has shown that the ITC can generate a positive return for the federal government. Over the life of solar assets, lease and PPA financing structures can deliver a 10% internal rate of return.
2. Government has historically supported energy sources.
a. Energy is the primary input into an economic system, so it makes sense to incentivize its development.
b. Historically, it’s taken about 30 years for energy resources—oil, natural gas, hydropower, coal, etc.—to go from innovation to early adoption to rapid growth, and, finally, to majority adoption. Solar isn’t there yet.
c. Fossil fuel energy sources enjoy permanent government incentives. In order to truly level the playing field, solar must receive equal treatment under the law.
d. Currently, solar incentives are less per megawatt-hour than for any other fuel source by a factor of ten, despite that fact that solar produces per more per megawatt-hour than any other energy industry.
3. The public supports solar and thinks the government should as well.
- National polls over the last five consecutive years show that 9 out of 10 American voters across party lines feel we should develop and use more solar energy. This support is consistent across the political spectrum.
- And the public supports government policies that encourage deployment of more solar. 78 percent of voters say the government should support growth of solar energy with financial incentives and tax credits.
4. The finance community is built upon certainty and the ITC provides that.
a. Effective incentives are long-term policies that remove market barriers, level costs, and offer stability.
b. The industry has been able to grow rapidly because of the supportive policies of the past two administrations (5 years), and the industry - especially small businesses - needs policy certainty to continue this growth.