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37,000 US jobs predicted from Treasury 1603 extension

An extension of the 1603 Treasury Program could result in more than 37,000 jobs in the USA next year driven by solar market growth, according to an EuPD Research.

By Kari Williamson

According to Economic Impact of Extending the Section 1603 Treasury Program, a one-year extension would result in the solar industry supporting an additional 37,394 jobs in 2012.

In addition, a one-year extension would result in nearly 2 GW of solar installations above baseline by 2016.

“More than 100,000 Americans work in the solar industry, double the number in 2009. Solar is a proven job creator at a time when the unemployment rate for the country remains stubbornly high,” says Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

“The 1603 Treasury Program has been the single most effective policy driving renewable energy growth during the past two years.”

He adds: “At a time when President Obama and Congress are looking for solutions for America’s jobs crisis, it would be unconscionable to allow this proven job-creating program to expire.

“Killing the 1603 Program amounts to a tax increase on the thousands of small businesses that are creating jobs in solar. The bottom line is that our capital markets are still in trouble and this program is needed today as much as it was when it was created. Allowing it to lapse would kill jobs and severely restrict the market’s ability to leverage private sector capital to finance new domestic energy projects. Congress must extend the 1603 program to help the American economy.”

The programme is set to expire on 31 December 2011.

An extension could lead to:

  • An additional 37,000 jobs in the solar energy industry in 2012, a 12% percent increase over baseline;
  • 18,000 will be directly employed by solar companies or indirectly employed by firms that support the solar industry; and
  • An additional 19,000 jobs would be induced by the industry’s economic activity.

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity