Your Opinion: Extend incentives for solar industry

Dear Editor:

The U.S. solar industry is thriving and now employs more than 100,000 Americans at 5,000 companies across all 50 states. The industry just enjoyed its best quarter ever and grew by 140 percent in the last year, despite a stagnant national economy. Here in Central Missouri, you are seeing solar systems popping up all over.

The key driving force behind this unprecedented growth — the 1603 Treasury Program — is set to expire Dec. 31, and Congress should act now to extend it.

The 1603 program has spurred $23 billion in private sector investment and helped start 22,000 energy generation projects in every state. A one-year extension of the 1603 program would support 37,000 additional solar jobs in the U.S, according to an independent analysis by EuPD Research.

The 1603 program has the support of a coalition of more than 760 companies, small businesses and organizations who recently called on Congress to extend the program. And more than eight out 10 Americans from across the political spectrum support federal incentives for solar like 1603, according to recent polling.

Congress should stand with the American people and extend the 1603 program to ensure a robust solar energy industry into the future.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

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