Crist Renews Solar Push

Tax Credit Extension Highlighted as Building Block to Fight Climate Crisis

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg, the “Sunshine City”) announced that he has reintroduced the Sunshine Forever Act, legislation that would add another 10 years of life to the Solar Investment Tax Credit. Crist first sponsored the legislation in the 116th Congress.

The bill would reinstate the 30% tax credit, which began phasing down at the end of 2019, and allow for an additional decade of increased solar power generation and innovation across the nation. Last year, Crist’s bill was highlighted by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as an important legislative priority in the effort to solve the global climate crisis.

“The Sunshine Forever Act is a common sense solution that will push the U.S. forward in addressing the climate crisis, while also helping to build back our economy even better,” said Crist. “Floridians know that the threat of climate change and sea level rise are things we can no longer ignore. And with the energy of the sun so readily available here the Sunshine State, it makes all the sense in the world to get Florida running on sunshine.”

“Representative Crist is an advocate for the solar industry, and we appreciate his continued support,” said Erin Duncan, Vice President of Congressional Affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “The Sunshine Forever Act embraces a long-term extension of the solar Investment Tax Credit, which is a bipartisan, proven way to encourage solar deployment, build resilience, and create economic opportunity. Long-term, stable tax policies can create more certainty for solar businesses, helping us deploy more solar, create hundreds of thousands of jobs and address climate change.”

A leader in the effort to keep the Sunshine State running on solar, Crist was successful in including policy similar to his Sunshine Forever Act in last year’s Moving Forward Act - a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure package - and the end-of-year COVID relief and spending bill, which included a two year extension of the tax credit at the phased-down rate of 26%.

Sunshine Forever Act Background:

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was established in 2006 to lower homeowners’ and businesses’ costs to install electricity-generating solar panels and incentivize the transition to a clean energy economy. It allows homeowners and businesses to subtract a percentage of the installation costs – currently 26% – from their federal tax liability. Since its inception, the tax credit has experienced great success – with solar growing at an average annual rate of 52%. Currently, solar generates 89 Gigawatts of electricity, which is enough to power more than 16 million homes.

The solar tax credit is currently set at 26% and is scheduled to further phase-down in 2023, expiring completely in 2024 for residential properties while remaining at 10% for commercial and utility properties. The Sunshine Forever Act would extend the Solar Investment Tax Credit for ten additional years, reinstating the tax credit at 30% for properties placed into service beginning in 2021. 

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