Solar power is a great alternative to traditional energy and sun-kissed locations like Tampa are in the perfect geographical position to take advantage of this. When it comes to renewable energy, Tampa residents have already demonstrated how keen they are to adopt new ideas, especially solar. Now, it looks like the rest of the U.S. is all set to follow their lead.
Why 2015 Was a Great Year for Solar Energy Industry?
The year 2015 has given the solar energy industry players a good cause for celebration. The year turned out to be the hottest one on record with NASA determining that temperatures were 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit higher than in 2014. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies Director Gavin Schmidt believes that this is not a one- off occurrence. In fact, he explains that this is a ‘symptom’, an indicator of what we should be expecting in the coming years. In effect, temperatures are going to soar, and the sun is going to shine down hotter than ever before. This is perfect for U.S. citizens who have already made the move to solar power and those who intend to do so right away. After all, they are geared to make the best of the ‘extra’ sunshine that is expected to come our way.
The Solar Investment Tax Credit Gets a Three Year Extension
Another favorable development for the solar power industry and its consumers is the extension of the ITC or Investment Tax Credit. The Solar Energy ITC was first launched in the year 2005. Thanks to this credit, homeowners and commercial property owners enjoyed a 30% tax credit on installation of solar panels on their premises. This tax benefit was supposed to end in 2008, but the huge success it enjoyed prompted the government to extend it until 2016. In fact, the impending closure of this tax credit encouraged many homeowners to switch to solar early in 2015. Solar energy industry players, however, feared a drastic dip in demand, once the credit came to a close.
Thankfully, in December 2015, the government decided to continue the ITC at the current rate of 30% through 2019. The extension applies to both residential and commercial solar installations. Making the decision all the more welcoming is the announcement that the credit will be tapered off post 2018 and will not be fully discontinued. By 2022, the tax credit will come down to 10% and will probably remain stable at that level. While solar energy makes up only one percent of the total electricity produced in the US, with these new incentives it is expected to go up to five percent of the total electricity production.
As the demand for the solar energy accelerates, the other sectors would benefit too. Investments and innovations would be the natural byproducts of this booming industry. Energy storage and energy management are few of the other sectors that would naturally see increased knowledge and fund infusion. This would automatically open up new scope for employment.
The impact of the solar energy sector should be measured in gigawatts and good deeds. This is because, every time someone installs solar panels on the roof, he is contributing a bit towards the environment. Solar energy is green, nature friendly and a reliable source of renewable energy. Tampa enjoys bright sunshine for a good part of the year and this is a huge advantage for every solar power user residing here. The cost benefit is another motivator for people wanting to adopt the solar power. So what are you waiting for? Go green NOW!