New Policy Focus for Solar Energy after ITC Extension

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New Policy Focus for Solar Energy after ITC Extension

With the solar energy investment tax credit extended— which was the top priority for the solar energy industry— SEMI is looking to other public policy opportunities to help grow the industry in the United States. We are working with our industry partners to identify and prioritize public policy efforts that will strengthen the solar energy industry and promote its use in the United States.

One area where SEMI may focus its solar energy efforts is to increase funding for the Solar America Initiative. This is a Department of Energy project to increase the efficiency of solar technologies and to assist in deploying more solar systems in the United States. Solar America Initiative grants are available to for-profit companies, universities and not-for-profit organizations. Please see the interview with John Lushetsky, the manager of the Solar Energy Technology Program at the Department of Energy.

Recently, a House Democratic Renewable Energy Working Group was formed with almost 20 Members of Congress. In late October the Working Group offered their assistance for the economic stimulus package—as it relates to renewable energy incentives—in a letter sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

SEMI, along with Applied Materials and the Solar Energy Industries Association, met with many of the working group members in November to discuss possible incentives that could be included in the economic stimulus package. These meetings included members and staff from these offices:

Russ Carnahan (D-MO)

Bob Filner (D-CA)

Maurice Hinchey


Paul Hodes (D-NH)

Rush Holt (D-NJ)


Mike Honda (D-CA)

Jay Inslee (D-WA)

Steve Israel (D-NY)

Tim Ryan (D-OH)


SEMI plans to meet with the remaining members of the Renewable Energy Working Group in December. Additionally, several incoming Members of Congress— particularly from the Southwestern states including New Mexico and Nevada— had a strong energy platform included in their 2008 campaign. SEMI will meet with these Members early next year as potential allies in solar energy policy.

Any member company interested in solar energy public policy efforts is encouraged to contact Ken Schramko ( to get involved. For more information about the SEMI PV Group, visit