Solar Power, Tax Credits and Government Shenanigans

It’s showdown time for solar power in the United States Senate. It’s the fossil fuel interests against the renewable energy crowd and the stakes are high. Once again on June 17th a Senate filibuster prevented a vote on the renewal for eight years of the 30% tax credit for investment in renewable energy. The renewal is necessary to attract the investment in time and money necessary to wean the country from dependence on coal and oil. As the price of oil spirals higher and higher, and concerns about carbon emissions and global warming escalate, utilities, corporations and the general public are more and more on board with solar and wind for energy production. But without the tax credit extension, it just won’t get done. The window of opportunity is closing. There are a couple of weeks left in July and then Congress goes on vacation for the month of August. If the extension doesn’t get passed by the end of September, then the game is, for all intents and purposes, over. The 30% tax credit goes down to 10% making numerous projects now in the planning stages no longer viable and venture capital harder to come by.

It is a shame, but the showdown has to do not only with the politics of oil, gas, and renewable energy, it is also tied up with parochial fights between Democrats and Republicans over extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the Iraq War, and a host of other Bush Administration policies.

This is a moment of truth for American Energy policy that will have lasting effects for the nation and for the entire world. Keep your fingers crossed and lets hope the good guys can get this tax credit extension passed.

Photo by alykat Thank you!


  1. I hope the window of opportunity does not close! U.S. citizens - write to your congresspeople!


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