"Solar industry is already witnessing losses": SEIA

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has shared that the industry is already witnessing losses and has emphasised on the significance of tax credit extension.

The Association says there are losses every day in the wake of the credits being on hold.

Recently, The Arizona Republic reported that many solar manufacturers and installers couldn't take on more jobs for 2008 because they're either out of panels or out of time. The Association recently indicated that some 20 utility-scale solar power plants, many in California and together capable of producing power for a million homes, are at risk because of the uncertainty in Congress.

According to SEIA, the solar industry is seeking an eight-year extension of the commercial ITC. It is seeking to permit corporate and individual taxpayers to claim the ITC against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT); and the elimination of the public utility exception to the ITC. The Association has reiterated that a long-term extension of the ITC will provide the market "demand-signal" that is needed for industry to build new manufacturing capacity, expand the installer work force and construct new utility-scale solar power plants.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that a bipartisan proposal to allocate some $17 billion in tax credits for renewable energy appears to be headed for a vote in the US Senate, a move hailed by the industry proponents as their best hope yet before the credits expire this year.

After other tax-credit proposals have failed earlier this year, the Senate Finance Committee recently approved a measure to fund the tax credits with support from both sides of the aisle. The measure now awaits action in the Senate chamber as part of a broad tax package, including exceptions for the alternative minimum tax, tax cuts for college tuition and other proposals. The effort comes just days after the US House of Representatives approved an offshore-drilling package that faces opposition from the White House.