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The Denver Post: Once Among Fastest-Growing Sectors, Solar Industry Faces Uncertainty because of Tax Credits Declining, Coronavirus Concerns

Posted by Judith Kohler on Mar 24, 2020

Denver Post reported on impact of the coronavirus pandemic on solar energy projects across the state amid uncertainty around tax credit incentives, including AEE's ask to Congress to shift to permanent direct cash payments in lieu of unworkable tax credits. Read excerpts below and the entire Denver Post piece here. The story and AEE's position were also covered by Washington Examiner and Smart Grid Today (sub. req.).

Colorado’s solar industry, among the country’s strongest, is joining forces with solar companies nationwide to push for extension of tax credits so they can finish projects being slowed or put on hold by the coronavirus outbreak. Concerns about not getting solar panels and other components from Asian countries in time have eased somewhat as China reports progress in fighting COVID-19, the highly infectious disease caused by the new coronavirus, and starts firing up idled manufacturing plants.

Other countries, including South Korea and Malaysia, have helped keep the supply chain rolling. However, solar companies are still concerned about manufacturers being able to deliver what they need in time to qualify for the federal investment tax credits. Companies are also facing hurdles as local governments shut down or delay inspections.

The Solar Energy Industries Association has asked Congress, as it looks at helping U.S. businesses, to extend the federal investment tax credits. Another request is to “monetize” them to give customers and investors the option to take a direct payment in place of a tax credit.

The organization also wants its workers to be deemed as essential to the economy so construction can continue as more communities and states narrow the activities allowed. A stay-at-home order issued Tuesday by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock exempts construction.

Another national business organization, the Advanced Energy Economy, is urging a permanent switch to direct payment in place of a tax credit, which it called “no-cost” because it would swap out foregoing tax revenue for a budgetary expenditure. “This was done, on a temporary basis, in response to the 2009 Great Recession, with great success,” according to a statement Monday by the organization...

Read the entire Denver Post piece here. 

Topics: AEE In The News