A study released Wednesday predicts that a one-year extension of a U.S. Treasury grant program will add over 37,000 jobs to the economy in 2012.
“Economic Impact of Extending the Section 1603 Treasury Program” was released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and EuPD Research. The study predicted the impact of extending the Section 1603 Treasury Program for one, two or five years.
Part of the 2009 stimulus package, Section 1603 aims to provide a source of liquidity for energy developers during the financial crisis. Under the program, energy developers are able to receive a federal grant instead of claiming a tax credit.
Additional Employment Supported by the U.S. Solar Energy Industry Credit: SEIA
After a year-long extension last December, Section 1603 is set to expire at the end of 2011.
Despite persistent unemployment, the number of jobs in the solar industry has grown by almost 7 percent over the past year. Some industry experts cite Section 1603 as a key driver behind the industry’s success.
“[I]t would be unconscionable to allow this proven job-creating program to expire,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “Allowing it to lapse would kill jobs and severely restrict the market’s ability to leverage private sector capital to finance new domestic energy projects.”
Aside from job creation, the report found that extending the program for another year will result in an added 500 megawatts of solar installations, enough to power about 100,000 homes.
Read the full report here.