Recovery Plans Give the U.S. Solar Glazing Market a Positive Boost?
The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act could
mean good news for the future of solar glazing. In his address to
Congress earlier this week President Obama stated, "Thanks
to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable
energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment
in basic research funding in American history--an investment that
new discoveries in energy ..."
The Act also calls for investing $15 billion dollars a year to
develop technologies for a number of areas, including solar power.
In addition, the plan sets out to save or create 3.5 million jobs
over the next two years, including jobs construcing solar panels.
"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by the
president had a number of benefits for the renewable energy industry,"
says Mike Ondrus, director - Solar Energy Systems with Glasstech
Inc. "Not the least of which is the monetization of the investment
tax credit in the form of grants. This may now make it more appealing
and easier for the U.S. solar industry to move ahead with installations
that use glass."
Some of the plans key points that may have a significant impact
on the solar glazing market include:
- Renewable Energy Grant Program, which offers Department of Energy
grants equal to 30 percent of the cost of solar projects started
in the next two years, including large-scale utility projects;
- · Loan Guarantee Program, which creates a new, streamlined
loan guarantee program to support financing of renewable energy
systems, including solar energy technology;
- · Manufacturing Investment Credit, which creates a 30-percent
investment tax credit for facilities engaged in the manufacture
of renewable energy property or equipment;
- · Solar for Federal buildings and military, which creates
a multi-billion dollar market for solar to be installed to power
Federal buildings and military installations.
However, it will still take time for solar glazing to fully engage
the mainstream market. And some companies say they are still accessing
what the Act's full impact will be.
"Initial indications are that it will provide direct benefit
to the solar industry, and companies, such as ours, that will further
reduce costs and minimizes the impact of the economic crisis on
the solar industry (for financing projects)," says Brian Lynch,
who works in corporate communications for SCHOTT North America,
which includes SCHOTT Solar. Lynch adds that the plan could also
help improve the economy overall, as it may encourage companies
to expand their solar presence.
"We're [SCHOTT Solar] in the process of investing $100 million
in Albuquerque to build a production facility that will employ 350
people. If market demand remains strong, the long-term plans call
for the facility to quadruple in size, with a total investment approaching
$500 million and total employment at approximately 1500."
HERE to read a complete summary of the law.
HERE to visit the website of Solar Glazing, a special
supplement of USGlass magazine.
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