Submitted by New Energy News Blog

More good advice for President-elect Obama. This brief comes from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and SEIA plans to send copies to everybody on the transition team and in the Congressional leadership.

What does solar want the President-elect to know?

First, it wants him to know it wants the new administration’s ambitious undertakings in New Energy and Energy Efficiency to succeed. Why? The NY Times’ Tom Friedman explained it well: “The Obama presidency will be shaped in many ways by how it spends this stimulus…[O]ur kids will remember the Obama stimulus as either the burden of their lifetime or the investment of their lifetime. Let’s hope it’s the latter…”

So the focus of SEIA’s brief is making its part of the stimulus funds “strategic.”

Rhone Resch, President, SEIA: “President-elect Obama and the new Congress have expressed their commitment to addressing our current economic crisis. Increasing the use of solar energy will create millions of new jobs and put billions of dollars into the U.S. economy…The growth of solar energy will not happen quickly enough without the right federal policies to stimulate the market and remove fundamental barriers that prevent solar from competing in the electricity marketplace…”

SEIA wants policy action on 4 fronts right away that, it says, will generate more than a million new jobs in 2 years. The 4 areas for action: Making the tax credits workable in a recession (165,000 jobs), increasing federal procurement of solar power (365,000 jobs), incentivizing manufacturing (315,000 jobs), and passing a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), 10% New Energy sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025 (286,000 jobs).

SEIA: “From electricians and roofers to manufacturing line workers and sales agents, an expanded solar energy sector will greatly benefit the U.S. economy with new jobs. However, the growth of solar energy will not happen quickly enough without the right federal policies to stimulate the market and remove fundamental barriers that prevent solar from competing in the electricity marketplace.”

The brief also lists 7 policy actions over the next year, including New Energy transmission, access to federal lands, a federal Clean Energy Bank, an office of Renewable Energy Development, national interconnection/net metering standards, DOE Solar Appropriations and global climate legislation.

It’s Christmas time. Everybody’s making wish lists. There’s not a thing on SEIA’s list NewEnergyNews isn’t wishing for, too.

Right after Christmas comes the New Year with its lists of resolutions and one of those resolutions is often telling the truth. To tell the truth, 2009 looks like just about the best year in memory for ambitious New Energy plans.

How’s that for the spirit of the season?

Some of the SEIA numbers are verified in Manufacturing Climate Solutions; Carbn-Reducing Technologies and U.S. Jobs from the Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness at Duke University.

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Solar Energy Poised to Put Americans Back to Work
December 3, 2008 (PR Newswire/COMTEX via MarketWatch)
The Real Generation X
Thomas L. Friedman, December 7, 2008 (NY Times)

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) (Rhone Resch, President; Roger Efird, Board Chairman)

Solar Energy: A Blueprint for Job Creation and Economic Security outlines the key federal policies SEIA foresees as necessary to expand the solar energy industry and create 1 million+ solar energy industry jobs.

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– If the 4 recommended priority actions are in place by the end 2009’s 1st quarter, SEIA says they will result in 1 million domestic jobs by 2011.
– SEIA was founded in 1974.

– SEIA will deliver its Blue Print to each member of President-elect Obama’s energy and economic transition teams and to the Congressional leadership.
– The Blueprint asks a lot for actions the new administration has power to make happen without the political complications of legislation, like pushing solar in the military, on federal lands and in federal buildings.
– Other actions will require action on Capitol Hill.
– To stimulate U.S. solar industry manufacturing, the U.S. will have to match incentives in Germany and China.

– The 4 priority actions that will create 1 million jobs:
(1) Improve solar tax credits with (a) refundability and transferability, (b) extended carry-back, (c) raised to 50% for residential and small scale systems, (d) including master limited partnerships, (e) including heating/cooling systems, (f) including state and local governments, and (g) allowing loss provisions. 165,000 jobs.
(2) Increase government procurement of solar power with priority military purchases and construction of 4,000 megawatts of solar on federal buildings and lands. 365,000 jobs.
(3) Create tax incentives for manufacturing matching foreign incentives. 315,000 jobs.
(4) Pass a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), 10% New Energy sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025 with a 30% solar “carve-out.” 286,000 jobs.
– The Near-Term priorities, to be enacted later in 2009:
(1) Expand and update transmission infrastructure
(2) Improve access to federal lands to harness our vast solar resources
(3) Create a federal Clean Energy Bank
(4) Create the office of Renewable Energy Development
(5) Establish national standards for interconnection and net metering
(6) Increase DOE Solar Appropriations
(7) Enact climate legislation to reduce carbon emissions, stimulate solar generation
– SEIA represents 800 member companies (manufacturers, distributors, sellers, designers, owners, installers, financiers).

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– Roger Efird, Board Chairman, SEIA: “For solar energy to reach its potential as an economic engine and become an important part of our national energy portfolio, we need government leaders to continue to enact the right policies. These policies, especially in the current economic crisis, will allow companies like mine to grow and create green jobs that will reverse the trend of sending American jobs overseas. Instead, the U.S. can become a destination for international companies to find the skilled professionals they need to compete in the global renewable energy economy.”
– From the SEIA Blueprint: “We call on President-elect Obama and the Leadership of the 111th Congress, to make solar energy a fundamental part of our economic and energy policy. This includes establishing the goal of 12.5 percent of electricity generation to come from solar by 2020 and the creation of at least 1.5 million new jobs in the solar industry. To achieve this vision, President-elect Obama and Congress must create programs that rapidly deploy solar energy, remove market barriers, and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy.”

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