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New Analysis: Solar ITC Produces Large Net Positive Returns for Taxpayers

1 min. read
For those who argue that the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar PV projects is not worth the taxpayers' money, a new study by "a coalition of senior level financiers who invest in all sectors of the energy industry" tells a diametrically different story! A few highlights illustrate why we say that:
  • "The ITC incentivizes the private sector to invest in the solar industry, and generates a measurable fiscal return to the taxpayer, in addition to creating positive impact on employment and the environment."
  • "...over the life of a solar asset, the initial cost outlay of the ITC is  more than offset by the tax revenues generated in lease and PPA scenarios.
  • "Even when viewed independently of its considerable environmental benefits, the ITC’s long term extension has created the foundation of an industry that can help America stake its ground as a global leader in domestic, renewable energy production."
  • "...a $10,500 residential solar credit can deliver a $22,882 nominal benefit to the government and a $300,000 commercial solar credit can create a $677,627 nominal benefit in lease and PPA scenarios over a 30-year period."
  • "The fiscal return demonstrated in this model is independent of, and additive to the numerous other benefits of solar projects, including job creation, energy independence, the preservation of natural resources and the health benefits of cleaner air."

The bottom line of the study is clear: in no way, shape, or form is the solar ITC a burden on U.S. taxpayers. To the contrary, it's a major benefit, delivering "a nominal 10% internal rate of return (IRR) to the federal government...for residential and commercial solar projects." Who, other than fossil fuel interests worried about solar power eventually taking away their market share, wouldn't be enthusiastic about that?