The Solar Foundation (TSF) produced two critically important studies that analyzed the economic impact of federal tax policy on solar deployment, investment, and job growth. These studies proved to be influential in the decision to pass a landmark eight-year extension of the solar energy investment tax-credit (ITC). The extension was part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, signed into law by President George W. Bush, and is widely credited as critical to the continued growth of the domestic solar market.
The two studies produced by TSF were:
- "Economic Impacts of Extending Federal Solar Tax Credits”
- “Economic Impacts of Tax Credit Expiration”
In March, we launched a campaign to educate the public about solar energy’s current and future contribution to employment and economic growth. The campaign featured an interactive Google Earth map that detailed solar job growth, economic investment, and job profiles across the nation; fact-sheets on solar jobs; and a downloadable solar-themed iGoogle homepage.
In December 2011, we published a discussion paper for the Inter-American Development Bank on renewable energy best practices in the U.S. and how they might be adopted by countries in Latin America. The purpose of the paper is to provide practical ideas that can be used throughout the Americas to increase public and private sector competitiveness. The paper was presented at the V Americas Competitiveness Forum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on October 6, 2011.
From the summer into the early fall, The Solar Foundation produced a report for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) investigating various benefits of solar PV deployment. In "An Assessment of the Economic, Revenue, and Societal Impacts of Colorado's Solar Industry", we found that the growth in solar PV installations over the last half decade has created over 10,000 job-years with employee earnings of over $500 million, a total economic output of $1.42 billion, state and local government tax revenues of between $34 and $60 million, avoided emissions worth over $24 million, and a savings of nearly 300 million gallons of water.
The study also included an estimate of these benefits under a future scenario in which Colorado realizes the goal of COSEIA's "Million Solar Roofs" campaign: 3 gigawatts of total solar capacity by 2030.