Obama’s Stimulus Includes Green Investments
We are experiencing the effects of economic recession remotely or directly. Our political leaders are trying to assuage the situation on several levels. United States House and Senate members reached an agreement last week on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama is about to sign economic stimulus package. President Obama has already anticipated the future of solar energy and other renewable energy sources. He has clearly emphasized this by stating, “the country that figures out how to make cheaper energy that’s also clean, is going to win the economic competition of the future.”
The final version of the stimulus bill is a total of US$787 billion. After the Great Depression this package is the government’s most expensive economic rescue package, even after the cuts. The House and Senate both voted to pass this final version of the bill.
The final version of the stimulus package has thrilled many alternative energy enthusiasts. A tenth of the $787 billion will be allotted to environmental endeavors. This package is supposed to stimulate the economy and create jobs. The bill makes a provision of $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects. Its main focus is on solar energy. Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch’s response is quite positive. He states, “The solar provisions in the bill will allow us to begin hiring, create growth opportunities for small businesses throughout the country and keep the economic engine going.” Alternative energy representatives have estimated that this step of government might lead to 67,000 job creations in the solar energy sector this year and a total of 119,000 jobs over the next two years.
The package has also paid attention to manufacturing processes and equipments. The package has also crafted a new 30% tax credit for equipment and facilities that produce renewable energy-generating materials, such as solar panels. This step also extracted an enthusiastic response from the President and CEO of Applied Materials, Inc. Mike Splinter. He is of the view that “this bill does a lot for solar energy, and will create thousands of ‘green’ jobs just when we need them the most.” He reaffirms again, “The manufacturing credit is a huge step forward to put Americans to work making solar panels so we all can benefit from clean, affordable, renewable energy.”
Another benefit of the new rollout is that through a grant program, taxpayers will be able to redeem solar investment tax credits that are unusable because they do not have a sufficient tax liability to offset. Additionally, the tax penalty for subsidized energy financing will be repealed.
The stimulus bill also pays attention to a number of other energy funding measures. It has allotted US$11 billion for the development of “smart grid” project. This project will undertake the much needed effort to bring forth new technologies so that solar panels can be efficient and cost-effective. Another plan has US$6.3 billion for energy efficiency and conservation grants, and another fund of US$2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research.