Solar energy catches a break; developers who raced to qualify for tax credits …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Solar energy catches a break; developers who raced to qualify for tax credits before the end of 2016 get 5 more years.

The 30 percent solar tax credit was set to expire next year and will now extend through 2019 before tapering to 10 percent in 2022. SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the President signed the omnibus spending bill that includes a multi-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit. “We thank leaders from both parties who came together to provide bi-partisan support that levels the playing field for solar and protects energy choice for consumers.US leading renewable energy company, SolarCity Corporation’s (NASDAQ:SCTY) stock price has been quite volatile in recent months, with shares trading as low as $24.07 and as high as $63.79.MONTPELIER — Climate advocates and members of the renewable energy industry are celebrating a move by Congress to renew tax credits for wind and solar projects.As I was traveling back from the COP21 climate talks in Paris last week I spent some time reflecting on how far we’ve come – both as a company and an industry – in helping to change the way businesses, households and entire communities are powered.

A credit for wind energy had expired at the end of 2014, and the extension will be retroactively applied from the start of 2015 through 2019, declining in value each year. In short, we’ve come a long way since SunPower’s founding 30 years ago, and our daily conversations with customers across the globe have reinforced the lasting momentum behind solar. The ITC extension provides a sense of certainty that allows for new investments that might not have been possible in its absence. “Every day, we see increasing numbers of homeowners, public agencies and businesses taking advantage of the benefits of solar power. A U.S. tax break for solar energy approved by Congress on Friday will slow growth next year by about 24 percent – and that’s great for the industry.

The five-year extension announced late Tuesday will ease the pressure, and installations will now be about 9.1 gigawatts, according to a revised forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The extension came as a surprise to the industry and drew cheers from companies that were expecting higher costs in 2016 as they rushed to complete projects.

Furthermore, ITC has led to significant job creation, as employment in the solar industry grew by over 86% in the past four years, which is 20 times higher than overall employment growth in the US. Slowing construction means paying less for labor, equipment, marketing and financing, said Tom Werner, chief executive of SunPower Corp. “A turbo-charged 2016 would have an impact on jobs and make it difficult to plan hiring for the boom-bust cycle,” Werner said in a phone interview. However, in a sweeping development this week, Republicans and Democrats reached a bipartisan agreement to extend the ITC by five years, in exchange for lifting the 40-year old ban on oil export. For the market broadly, a shift in focus from the ITC provides a lower risk premium at a time when the economic opportunities in our industry are increasing by the day.

Local homebuilders praised the extension, saying the tax credit is a big incentive to go solar for homebuyers who purchase their systems, although not necessarily for those who lease them. This means electricity production for at least 19 million homes, reduction in at least 20 million cars every year, and increased solar power contribution in electricity generation, up from 0.1% in 2010 to 3.5%. For young entrepreneurs and innovators looking to develop new technologies that comprise the solar systems of tomorrow, the opportunities are endless. California’s three regulated utilities, including Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, are expected to hit a cap on net metering customers some time next year, meaning the option wouldn’t be available to future customers, making solar less viable. Developed nations of the world have agreed to contribute $100 billion annually, to help the transition from fossil fuels to environment-friendly resources.

At the COP21, President Barack Obama’s administration supported the need to reduce carbon emissions, to protect the environment for coming generations. Congress’s move to extend ITC shows that the US is committed to support renewable energy, not only on the global stage but within the country as well. Beyond our industry, this is good for the bottom line of every sector and will help companies achieve environmental and economic goals well into the future. Finally, the enthusiasm coming out of COP21 is a clear indicator that the global business community is ready to roll up its sleeves and continue taking the lead in driving a clean energy transformation. In a recent report by Deutsche Bank, analysts pointed out that a renewal would benefit the residential solar installers in the short term, and large-scale installers in the long run.

As I wrote in the San Jose Mercury News last week, the blueprint exists to shift the climate focus from “what” and “who” to the “how,” which will be critical to ensuring the agreement’s ultimate success. Shares in solar companies surged this week on the news. “Companies such as First Solar were rushing to complete U.S. projects ahead of the deadline,” Shah wrote in a research note Thursday. “We now expect these projects to push out to 2017 and see margins improving.” Another positive for SolarCity this week was California Public Utilities Commisssion’s (CPUC) decision to keep the state’s net metering policy, which encourages citizens to adopt solar energy. Climate change is no longer just an ideological debate, but one that’s dealt with through innovation and solar energy solutions — what’s best for customers and creating long-term value across the global economy.

An agreement was made to include the famous DeLorean from “Back to the Future” trilogy, as paid DLC even enhanced the popularity of the indie footie-racing hit. Instead of human players passing the ball around, a team of rocket-powered cars would “kick” the ball around in the hope of scoring goals, hence the name “Rocket League.” The concept was clear. WSJ reports that KITT from the 1980s hit television series Knight Rider could make an appearance on Rocket League, and we hope it actually turbo boosts all over the field.

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