SEMI Advocates Bold Action to Expand U.S. Solar Manufacturing

SEMI Advocates Bold Action to Expand U.S. Solar Manufacturing

The SEMI PV Group recently released a white paper entitled “Manufacturing Solar Photovoltaic Products in the U.S.,” which contains specific policy recommendations to stimulate and support the growth of the U.S. solar manufacturing industry.  The report is authored by the SEMI PV Group and North American PV Advisory Council which is comprised of representatives from leading solar companies with manufacturing operations in the United States and other industry leaders.

Today’s approximately $80 billion global solar industry has the potential to grow to a trillion dollars in revenues and create as many as 10 million jobs worldwide in the coming years.  According to the SEMI white paper, the number of jobs that will reside in the United States will be dependent on responsible, sustained public policies and government programs that support manufacturing and technology development. There is a necessity for U.S. economic development programs that are designed to retain, attract and increase manufacturing output and employment involved in the rapidly growing photovoltaic (PV) solar industry.

“Despite a significant contraction in the global PV market this year, solar is at the beginning of long-term growth cycle and will be a major contributor to energy independence and help the U.S. to break from its reliance on fossil fuels,” said Bettina Weiss, executive director, SEMI Photovoltaics Business Unit, “However, in order to achieve this, we must implement policies that work in support of a balanced demand and supply relationship within the solar industry and other renewable energy industries as well.”

The report recommends the following policy positions for federal and state policy makers:

  • Large, long-term, stable, market-side support policies, including: a national Renewable Clean Energy Standard (RES), state Renewable Portfolio Standards, buyer incentive programs, sales and property tax credits
  • Maintain the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through 2016
  • Extend the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program that has provided a grant in lieu of the advanced energy investment tax credit (ITC)
  • Increase Department of Energy funding for both R&D and manufacturing infrastructure development of the U.S. solar industry
  • Establish the R&D tax credit on a long-term basis to assure solar manufacturers greater consistency in tax and investment planning
  • Revive the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (MTC), and creation of a federal Green Bank to supplement PV and other green energy projects, particularly for manufacturing
  • Work with foreign counterparts and the World Trade Organization (WTO) to develop a strong, effective and enforceable rules-based international trading system that promotes free and open trade

To download “Manufacturing Solar Photovoltaic Products in the U.S.” and see specific recommendations in the report, please visit www.pvgroup.org/node/2046.

April 3, 2012