The extension of a federal grant program could create 37,000 jobs in the year 2012, says a report from the Solar Energy Industry Association. Called the 1603 Treasury program, it reimburses applicants who have installed renewable energy technology for their business, trade or to generate income.
SEIA says the program has supported about 45,000 jobs in the solar industry so far. If the program is extended two more years, it could result in the creation of 51,000 additional jobs they say. Grants made to states for solar, wind and other renewable energy projects are listed in this file. So much of the news related to solar energy in the United States lately is negative, it is drowning out the positive overall trend as we move towards cheaper and cheaper solar panels, and more solar installations.
The Solyndra debacle is regrettable, mainly due to the wasting of tax payer dollars, but solar itself is becoming less costly and more efficient. It will continue to do so, if we keep supporting it. Solyndra employed about 1,200 people, and all those jobs were lost, due to mismanagement of the company. Where is all the press about the success, and potential success of the 1603 treasury program? Does no one care about the potential 51,000 jobs that could be created by extending the 1603 Treasury program for two years? Or is it that most people are simply unaware of how successful it has been and might continue to be? It could be a self-destructive act to abandon it now.
“Killing the 1603 Program amounts to a tax increase on the thousands of small businesses that are creating jobs in solar. The bottom line is that our capital markets are still in trouble and this program is needed today as much as it was when it was created,” said SEIA president Resch.
Image Credit: Jake Richardson