US Solar Energy Industries Association Prepares Policy Agenda for Biden Government
The agenda includes the suggestion to remove import tariffs on clean energy equipment to expand solar deployment nationwide
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) of the United States announced that it has prepared a legislative and executive agenda for 2021. SEIA asked President-elect Biden and the new Congress to act on the policy agenda during their first 100 days in office.
SEIA stated that a comprehensive federal carbon policy, including a renewable energy standard and stable tax policies, is a central component of this legislative and executive agenda.
According to its document “Solar Vision“, the proposed agenda comprises three strategic principles to set the foundation for a clean energy economy.
- Achieving clean energy goals and developing comprehensive carbon policy
The first strategic principle proposes a tax framework that can help expand solar deployments, including a long-term extension of the solar investment tax credit. Besides that, it suggests clean energy development on public lands, provision of the investment tax credit for energy storage deployments, federal funding for solar energy research and development, and increase solar adoption by federal agencies and facilities.
- Investing in clean energy infrastructure and workforce needed to build it
The second principle prioritizes the legislative goals for workforce training that enable federal incentives for the renewable energy industry to hire and train workers. Besides that, the legislative goals include support for marginalized communities, low-income access to solar, grid modernization and transmission planning, support for the legislation to allow federal properties to enter into long-term power purchase agreements, and long-term federal tax policies to support clean energy technologies’ domestic manufacturing.
The second strategic principle’s executive action goals focus on improving interregional transmission planning to establish long-distance transmission lines. Besides, it also prioritizes continuous support through funding and resources for the Solar Automated Permit Processing program to streamline and improve the permitting process for residential rooftop solar systems.
- Ensuring markets are competitive and remain open to clean energy
“Energy market rules were designed before clean energy technologies became widespread and are in need of reform to ensure that independent power producers, regardless of generation type, have access and can compete fairly,” said SEIA.
The third principle of the agenda prioritizes the legislative goals for fair treatment in tax policies and technology-neutral tax paradigms that enable clean energy generators to compete with other fuel sources in the power market.
The third principle’s executive action plan proposes to remove import tariffs on clean energy equipment to expand solar deployment nationwide. It also provides suggestions for the fair and transparent implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act, which allows independent power projects to sell power at competitive rates. The executive plan also proposes to revamp the governance and rulemaking process of the Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators to enable clean energy sources to compete fairly.
Last month, a trade court in the United States temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s bid to revoke the exclusion of imported bifacial solar panels from safeguard duty imposition. Earlier in October 2020, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, signed a proclamation emphasizing his support to revoke the exclusion of several imported bifacial solar panels from safeguard duty imposition.
The country is now poised for a new era of action towards climate change under President-elect Joe Biden.
Harsh Shukla is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Previously with Indian Express, he has covered general interest stories. He holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune.