Congress and the White House agreed to a $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package late at night on March 24. Although some democrats were pushing for solar and wind tax credit extensions to be included in the bill, it appears they didn’t make the final version. Still, the solar industry will see some relief in the economy-wide measures included in the bill.
Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association:
“As Congress continues to address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we appreciate that they are prioritizing relief for families and small businesses. There are several elements in this legislation that can help solar businesses and solar workers, including long-term unemployment insurance, business loans and provisions that support employee retention and other employee protections. We will be working to help our members understand what resources are available to them as a result of this legislation and how they can use those resources to help get through this difficult time.
“As a result of this pandemic, the solar industry stands to lose half of our jobs — that’s 125,000 families who will no longer receive a paycheck. Congress can help stem this tide. Economic stimulus legislation can help our companies sustain families and invest tens of billions of dollars into the economy over the next couple of years. We remain committed to helping our economy recover from this pandemic. We fully expect to work with Congress on any broad economic stimulus package. This will ensure that when this awful chapter in America’s history comes to an end, the clean energy economy is well positioned to lead our nation’s economic recovery.”
Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), issued the following statement:
“The renewable energy industry is fully supportive of broad measures to support the economy, protect workers, and ensure the health care system can effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic — which is precisely what the final Senate package is designed to do. When lawmakers turn their attention to measures aimed at bolstering specific sectors of the economy adversely impacted by coronavirus, we want to make sure they understand how supply chain disruptions and other pandemic-related delays are threatening the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers in the renewable sector and the time-sensitive tax incentives on which renewable project financing depends. In the end, we’re all in this together and the renewable energy industry wants to be a key economic driver to help the nation through this downturn, as well as an effective climate solution over the long haul.”