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US House Lawmakers Reintroduce the GREEN Act, a ‘Critical’ Bill for Solar

February 15, 2021


The legislation would extend the federal Investment Tax Credit for solar and create a version for energy storage technology.

Lawmakers on the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue have reintroduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act, which includes a five-year extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

Led by Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), the entire Democratic membership of the full House Ways and Means Committee have signed on to the bill.

Co-sponsors said the legislation, first introduced in June 2020, is a comprehensive use of the federal tax code to help combat the threat of climate change and expand the use of renewable energy. The bill has support from House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), who commended Thompson for reintroducing this “vital piece of legislation.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) called the bill “critical,” noting several key solar provisions such as the five-year ITC extension and a direct pay option for large projects when claiming the ITC.

“Long-term tax policy drives deployment of solar energy, giving companies the certainty needed to make business investments at the scale we need to tackle the climate crisis,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA’s president and CEO, in a statement.

According to a bill summary, the solar ITC would be extended at 30% through the end of 2025, then phase down to 26% in 2026, 22% in 2027 and 10% thereafter. That compares to the two-year extension secured in late 2020 which began at 26% through the end of 2022, with a phase-down to 22% in 2023 and 10% in 2024.

The GREEN Act would also establish an ITC for energy storage technology on a stand-alone basis. That benefit would start at 30% through the end of 2026 then phase down to 26% in 2027 and 22% in 2028.

Jason Burwen, interim CEO of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, said, “Making energy storage eligible for the ITC creates a level playing field for power sector investments while also accelerating jobs in storage deployment and manufacturing.”

The bill also includes provisions for energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and clean energy workforce development, among other provisions.

The GREEN Act failed to pass during the last Congress, but may have a better chance with a Democrat-controlled House, Senate, and White House.

Ross Hopper said SEIA looks forward to working with lawmakers to “continue to refine the legislation” as it advances.

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