WASHINGTON, DC – Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch released the following statement on today’s House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, “Solar Heats Up:  Accelerating Widespread Deployment”:

“Chairman Markey continues to show tremendous leadership in moving America’s clean energy economy ahead.  By examining ways to accelerate deployment of solar energy, Congressional leadership is taking concrete steps to address the nation’s energy independence and fight the rise in greenhouse gases that is fueling climate change.  Widespread solar deployment is not only an important part of the solution to these challenges, it is an economic engine that will create jobs in all fifty states.  We will continue to work with the Committee and the Congressional leadership to enact the right policies to return America to its position as the world leader in solar energy.”

During his testimony at the hearing, Frank De Rosa, Chief Executive Officer of SEIA member NextLight Renewable Power of San Francisco said, “The biggest obstacle to the deployment of large volumes of renewable energy is the up-front cost of these capital-intensive projects.”  

De Rosa recommended the following policies to overcome this obstacle:

Restore the $2 billion appropriation that was used for the Cash for Clunkers Program back to the Department of Energy’s Section 1705 Loan Guarantee Program authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;

Extend the Treasury Department’s grant program in lieu of the investment tax credit for renewable energy property beyond the current December 31, 2010 expiration date;

Provide for an effective long-term financing program for renewable energy power projects, such as the Clean Energy Deployment Administration (the “Green Bank”) as proposed in both H.R. 2454 and S. 1462.

Dr. Stephanie Burns, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Offices of Dow Corning Corporation, a SEIA Board Member, also testified at today’s hearing. Highlighting the role manufacturing plays in deploying solar energy, Burns said, “It is time for America to enact policies that will keep the solar industry here at home.” 
She suggested a four-point plan to develop a thriving solar industry in the U.S.:

Enact new federal policies and regulations such as federal tax incentives to spur domestic manufacturing, a robust federal Renewable Electricity Standard, and federal interconnection and net metering standards.

Increase federal funding for research and development.

Develop a green-collar workforce.

Have the federal government “lead by example” by utilizing clean energy technologies.

There are more than 11, 500 megawatts of utility-scale solar power plants in various stages of development in the United States, primarily in the Southwest.