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solar moving forward to challenge filthy fossil fuels

“ "But if you are talking the price per kilowatt, we will never see single-digits again, fossil fuels or in solar," ”

“ US producers of solar power will no longer need federal subsidies within eight years because by then solar power will cost less than electricity generated by conventional power plants, industry players said this week.

“The US government recently extended tax breaks for wind and solar producers for another eight years. They are set to expire in 2016.

“Solar power, which contributes less than 1 percent of US electricity generation, has been growing rapidly in the United States but remains reliant on state and federal subsidies to make it competitive versus power plants that run on coal or natural gas.

“ "We designed the eight-year tax credit extension very purposely," said Rhone Resch, president of Solar Energy Industries Association. "We believe that at the end of that time, solar will have achieved grid parity, which means simply that we will be the lowest-cost source of retail electricity in almost all 50 states." ” [Quoted from planetark.com]

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“The solar tax credits were originally enacted in the 2005 and have created unprecedented growth in the U.S. The amount of solar electric capacity installed in 2007 was double that installed in 2006.

“ “Over the last 2 years, these tax credits have turned the solar industry from a small, cottage industry into an economic engine for America. Electricians, plumbers, roofers and construction workers can now get back to work. These jobs are the backbone of the American economy and the solar industry is creating them at a time when they are needed the most,” said Resch.

“According to a new economic study by Navigant Consulting, Inc., the 8-year extension of the ITC will create 440,000 permanent jobs and unleash $325 billion in private investment in the solar industry. This study did not factor in elimination of $2,000 monetary cap on the residential credit, so the actual job creation and investment could be even greater.

“ “This is a big boost for the residential market in particular, allowing homeowners to contribute to our nation’s energy independence,” said Efird [Solar Energy Industries Association chairman and president of Suntech America]. “It also opens the floodgates for building large, utility-scale solar power projects that need longer timeframes to complete.”

“To date, there are 27 such utility-scale solar power projects totaling 5,400 megawatts of power in various stages of development; most were on hold due to uncertainty surrounding the expiring tax credits.” [Quoted from seia.org]

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