As Congress considers how best to revive our ailing economy, investing in homegrown solar energy could jumpstart investment and create jobs. Solar energy isn’t a niche technology: there are now more than 2.5 million solar systems installed in every state and before the pandemic 250,000 Americans had a solar job.
The latest polls show overwhelming support for expanding clean energy and Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle are listening to their constituents that are demanding more clean energy. While bipartisan support for clean energy is now getting attention, it isn’t a new concept and it isn’t a surprise.
Last month, Representatives Paul Cook and Jimmy Panetta released a letter signed by 25 House Republicans and 25 Democrats calling for the extension of clean energy tax credits. These credits have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and added billions of dollars to our economy.
For years now, the cost of solar has come down making it a smart investment for consumers and businesses looking to save money on their electricity bills. In many places across the country, the cost of solar is now less than traditional sources of energy, locking in lower electricity bills for years to come.
Lower costs and additional investment is a tribute to American innovation, and nowhere is that more evident than in American solar energy. Our companies continue to find more efficient ways to do their work and advances in tracking, storage and power management has driven, and will continue to drive, investment.
As a result, the solar industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in America and can produce jobs at a faster rate than the overall economy. These are quality jobs that help American families pay their bills and keep food on the table. In addition, solar installations can support farm families, providing a much-needed additional source of income for farmers facing uncertainty and dwindling returns.
At a time when we need jobs more than ever, we should be investing in proven solutions like solar that can help us channel opportunities and resources to the communities that need it most. Nearly 650 solar companies made this clear in a letter sent to Congress yesterday.
Good-paying jobs and investment will always be priorities that both parties share. The strong bipartisan block formed by Representatives Cook and Panetta demonstrates that fact. Now it’s time for both chambers and both parties to send legislation to the president that helps America recover economically from this crisis, in part by advancing clean energy in America.