On December 17, President Obama signed legislation that extends the Department of Treasury Section 1603 program for another year. The program provides commercial solar installations with a cash grant in lieu of the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC). The ITC was signed into law by President George W Bush in 2008, but few firms were able to take full advantage of the scheme, due to the global financial crisis. The program has helped over 1100 solar projects and supported US$18bn in investment. In addition, it played an important role in setting the market environment that allowed the US solar industry to grow by 100% in 2010.
In a statement, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) President and CEO Rhone Resch said:
“It took a year of tireless effort from the entire solar industry and our champions in Congress to get an extension of the 1603 program. President Obama and our bipartisan champions in the Senate and House recognize that the solar industry is one of the fastest growing industries in our country, and this extension will create tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.”